Japan studies in China in the late 1980s: Implications for reform, social change, and Sino-Japanese relations

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Abstract

This article adopts a sociology of knowledge perspective to analyze Japan studies scholarship published in China in the late 1980s. The objective of the analysis is to interpret the significant body of scholarship in terms of three of its sociopolitical implications. Firstly, the role of scholarship in its advocacy of Japan as a development model for China will be examined, thereby uncovering one of the multiple historical sources for the Chinese reform. Secondly, Japanese studies scholars, despite their being establishment intellectuals, made bold proposals in the late 1980s for economic, political, and social change. Thirdly, this article will document the Japan studies scholars' largely positive appraisal of Japan as well as their resistance of anti-Japanese sentiments in the Chinese state and society. Findings indicate that the scholarship deviated from the official line, critiqued the Chinese state, promoted radical reform proposals, positively evaluated Japan, and offered a Japanese model for China's reform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-501
Number of pages29
JournalChina Information
Volume23
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese reform
  • Establishment intellectuals
  • Japan studies
  • Sino-Japanese relations
  • Sociology of knowledge

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