Harmony and Critique: Chinese Modernity, Harmonious Society, and Contemporary Chinese Feminist Perspectives

  • Sharon R. Wesoky


In this chapter, I examine the fraught and complicated relationship between the contemporary rhetoric used to describe the China experience and feminism. In particular, I employ a keywords approach to highlight areas of simultaneous concurrence and conflict between statist discourse on development and feminist concerns,1 and to examine how specific terms relevant to Chinese reform and conceptions of modernity reveal their problematic meanings and ultimately their conceptual hollowness. A conceptual hollowness is, however, also a space that enables new imaginings of development and modernity as well as of women’s place therein. This means that the notion of harmonious society (hexie shehui) and other aspects of the China experience retain considerable contingency in their long-term implications for gender politics.


Gender Equality Chinese Communist Party Rural Woman Harmonious Society Chinese Model 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, Lida V. Nedilsky, and Siu-Keung Cheung 2012

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  • Sharon R. Wesoky

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