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Writing Taiwan's nationhood: language, politics, history


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Harrison, M (2008) Writing Taiwan's nationhood: language, politics, history. In: Re-Writing culture inTaiwan. Asia's transformations . Routledge, UK, pp. 123-139. ISBN 978-0-415-46666-0

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On the edge of East Asia, between great geo-political forces, and marginalized by history and imperialisms of all forms, 'Taiwan' is a tenuous basis for a people to identify themselves. The proposal that 'we are the Taiwanese' is confronted with a multiplicity of challenges and counter-arguments from the People's Republic of China, Japan, tradition, modernity, the global, the postmodern, and the deconstruction of identity itself by contemporary theory. Taiwanese identity is not 'self evident' or naturalized, and in its politics -the claim to speak as a Taiwanese and speak about Taiwan - one can see an epistemology and the contestabillty of the claim over the truth of the 'real' Taiwan. Taiwan's identity production, like all identities, is incomplete and discontiguous, constructed out of appeals by Taiwanese to their own aspirations and national potential, even as the constraints upon Taiwan's legitimacy by geo-politics demand a self-conscious self-reflexivity by Taiwanese themselves.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Routledge
Page Range: pp. 123-139
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2009 22:53
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:54
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