Waterscape and Social Transformation in Southern Taiwan: The Damming of Mudan Creek

  • Shao-hua Liu
  • Shu-min Huang
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


This chapter highlights how topographical and environmental factors have shaped the trajectory of social change among Taiwan’s southern Paiwan people since the late nineteenth century. Taiwan’s history from the late Qing dynasty (1644–1911) through the Japanese colonial period (1895–1945) has been commonly examined through the framework of modernization. This framework uses the dichotomy of ‘core’ and ‘periphery’, which claims the centrality and radiating aspects of modernization. Although those concepts are certainly useful for examining Taiwan’s modern transformation, they cannot account for historical developments in which unique local variations deviated from that norm. For instance, why did certain ethnic groups at the margins encounter the forces of modernization earlier and assimilate more readily than peoples geographically closer to the so-called centre?


Late Nineteenth Century Rice Farming Late Qing Dynasty Taiwan Provincial Hill Tribe 
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© Shao-hua Liu and Shu-min Huang 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shao-hua Liu
  • Shu-min Huang

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