The Paradigm Shift of “Civilization” in the Age of Transformation

  • Weigui FangEmail author
Part of the Key Concepts in Chinese Thought and Culture book series (KCCTC)


After China opened five port cities for commerce with the outside world in the mid-nineteenth century, the old, taken-for-granted “myth” was altogether shattered. After this “great geographical discovery,” there came more information about Western technology, management theory and practice, legal operations, cultural prosperity and even political systems. In that very age of chaotic change, amidst enforced Sino-Western contact, an unprecedentedly great value shift occurred in China, especially with regard to the Chinese view of “civilization,” reaching a climax in the context of the May Fourth Movement. The emergence and socialized application of the modern concept of “civilization” in this period of Chinese history was a salient mark of this era and one of the forces driving early modern China’s “transformation.”


The May Fourth Movement Modernity Westernization 

Copyright information

© Foreign Language Teaching and Research Publishing Co., Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Beijing Normal UniversityBeijingChina

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