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|Title:||The Complex Chess Game of Compound Languages: Qun/Qunxue and Shehui/Shehuixue in Late Qing China|
|Issue Date:||2018-03-30 16:39:18 (UTC+8)|
This paper analyzes two sets of concepts - qun/qunxue and shehui/shehuixue - against the historical background of late Qing China, showing how their interweaving produced an intricate network of languages, concepts, and discourses. Additionally, the formation of a compound language by these four terms demonstrates how the practices of new concepts in the late Qing were actualized through the complex relations between the new and the traditional, the parallel, as well as those diametrically opposed terms. Initially, qun and qunxue emerged as concepts responding to a specific political context in nineteenth century Qing China. Subsequently, both terms were also employed to translate the new Western concepts of ＂society＂ and ＂sociology＂ respectively. At roughly the same time, however, two other neologisms - shehui and shehuixue - made their way from Japan into China, thus directly competing with the indigenous set of terms. Resembling at times an intricate chess games with multiple tactical constellations, the relationship between qun/qunxue and shehui/shehuixue shows how concepts were appropriated by late Qing intellectuals to not only describe their world, but also transform it. This resulted in the construction and practice of a compound language related directly to the emerging discourse of evolution, as well as changing understandings of historiography and visions of a new society. Pursuing specific goals and agendas, intellectuals would strategically choose between traditional and newly invented terms, thereby demonstrating different, at times mutually opposed attitudes concerning Qing China's society and polity. At the same time, these competing attitudes remained embedded in two closely related intellectual traditions, thus further reflecting the complex nature of the late Qing transformation.
|Relation:||東亞觀念史集刊, 13, 335+337-382|
|Appears in Collections:||[東亞觀念史集刊] 期刊論文|
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