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Regular version of the site

National Identity, Social and Political Development in Asia

2021/2022
Academic Year
ENG
Instruction in English
6
ECTS credits
Course type:
Compulsory course
When:
1 year, 1, 2 module

Instructors

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This course is intended for students majoring in Master’s Programme “Business and Politics in Modern Asia”, who are eager to deep in sociocultural peculiarities of interaction between politics and culture. The course examines the problem of Asian countries identity (China, Vietnam, Japan), the issues of East Asian identities typologization, the civilizational specifics of Asian countries and its impact on all aspects of social and political life, the main aspects of Asian national identity formation in the context of a globalized world.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The main aim of the course is to introduce students to a phenomenon of contemporary Asian societies and identities (based on specific values, beliefs, traditions) and to provide students with basic theoretical and practical skills in analysis and conducting research in socio-political and socio-cultural spheres.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Communicate in English on professional topics, related to the sociocultural specifics of Asian countries.
  • Prepare scientific and analytical reports, reviews, presentations, information briefs and explanatory notes in their professional field, related to the sociocultural specifics of Asian countries.
  • Take into account the cultural specificity characteristic of the countries of the studied region in their practical and research activities.
  • Understand and analyze sociocultural problems and processes occurring in Asian societies.
  • Use the conceptual apparatus of scientific research, critically analyze the information.
  • Work with information: find, evaluate, systematize and use information necessary for solving scientific and professional problems from various sources (on the basis of a systematic approach).
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Online course
    The discipline is implemented in a blended learning format. It includes online course as self-directed study. For topic № 10 is used MOOC - on-line course "Religions and Society in China", Coursera platform https://www.coursera.org/learn/religions-society-china#syllabus. Developer - National Research University Higher School of Economics (HSE).
  • Lecture 1. Introduction. National identity and its influence on sociopolitical development.
    Nationhood/ethnicity/civic identity/cultural identity. Approaches to defining identity politics. Discourses on cultural and national identities. National identity: the model of Shulman. Theoretical understandings of the relationship between experience, culture, identity, politics and power. ‘Asian values’ and human rights. Activities of INGOs in addressing the national identity problem. The relationship between identity and social movements in the context of globalization. Seminar 1. Chinese national identity and its implications for international relations. “Nation building” as a mechanism for integration and conflict reduction The resultant spike in China’s national identity China’s contribution to IRT (international relations theory)
  • Lecture 2. China's search for national identity: past, present and future.
    Chinese history of searching a cultural identity. The renaissance of western thought. The rising nationalist rhetoric and the attempts to create a collective Chinese identity. The evolution of national identity in the light of domestic and international situations. China’s peaceful rise and the evolution of its national identity. Prospective strategic approaches to strengthening China’s national identity. Seminar 2. Taiwan's identity in formation. Constructed ethnic identity in Taiwan. Reconstituting Taiwanese identity between Taiwanese-ness and Chinese-ness. Looking ahead: will Taiwan be unified?
  • Lecture 3. Cultural identity and traditional cultural values: the case of China.
    Traditional Chinese culture and its relationship with China’s politics. The logic of “Chinese values” as a new civilization based on the interdependence of tradition and modernity. The coexistence of cultural narratives with diverse styles and multiple orientations in China as a striking feature of the current era (“cultural spaces” and “world of meanings”). Seminar 3. Confucianism contribution to resolving conflicts of cultural identities. Confucian identity in modern new Confucianism. The revival of Confucian values. Confucianism and the idea of global justice.
  • Lecture 4. China’s national identity in a globalized world.
    The self-identity of China (socialist country with Chinese characteristics, developing nation in the globalization era, potential responsible world power on the international arena). Modern infrastructural facilities – materialized national identity and modernization. ‘Go, China’ and ‘One World, One Dream’– new national identity and cultural modernization. Seminar 4. The rise of China’s national identity in the context of globalization. Measuring China’s estimated national power (economic, cultural, military). China’s role in world’s affairs. China’s future as a complete great power.
  • Lecture 5. Cultural identity, religion and traditional cultural values: the case of Vietnam.
    Vietnam as a part of Sinosphere. The Three Teachings in Vietnam. Ancestor Worship in Vietnam. Christianity in Vietnam. Vietnamese diaspora in USA and problem of identity construction. Seminar 5: Minorities and national identity in Vietnam. Ethnic Minorities and national identity in Vietnam. Ethnic minority policy in Vietnam.
  • Lecture 6. ‘Children of the dragon and grandchildren of the fairy’: constructing identity in Vietnam.
    Mythical ancient past and Hung Kings. Identity constructing policies in modern Vietnam. Modern Vietnamese nationalism. Seminar 6: Intangible cultural heritage of humanity in Vietnam and its’ place in constructing of identity. Vietnam in Representative list of intangible cultural heritage UNESCO. Case of Worship of Mother-goddesses of three realms – from prohibited practice to cultural heritage.
  • Lecture 7. Emperor of Japan: history of cult and recent changes.
    Unification of Yamato/Japan in the 7th century and the status of Emperor (Tenno). Tenno and shoguns in medieval Japan. The movement for reverence of the Emperor in 18th-19th centuries. Formation of Japanese nation and the cult of the Emperor. Emperor and its status in postwar Japan. The case of Akihito tenno. Seminar 7. Religion and secularism in contemporary Japan. 1) Nationalism and religion in contemporary Japan 2) Does Shinto still has a "special status" among Japan's religions? 3) Japan’s new religions and their political activities
  • Lecture 8. Russia and the West in Japanese identity.
    Perception of Russia and the West in early modern Japan. The formation of Japanese nation and the West. Racial debates in interbellum Japan. Russia/USSR in postwar Japan’s political discourse. Searching for the place for Japan in the global world. Seminar 8. Reflection of war and peace in contemporary Japan. 1) War-Related Tourism in Japan 2) Japan's Yasukuni Shrine: Place of Peace or Place of Conflict? 3) Discussion over Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution
  • Lecture 9. Traditional family patterns and its influence in contemporary Japan.
    The formation of the ie (household) system in medieval Japan. Characteristics of the ie in early modern Japan. Reform of family registration in modern Japan. Transformations of family patterns in pre- and postwar Japan. Demographic situation in contemporary Japan and influence of traditional family patterns. Seminar 9. Ideas of Japan’s uniqueness: from kokugaku to nihonjinron. 1) Creating the nation: Japan between the West and the East. 2) Discourse of Nihonjinron in postwar Japan. 3) Is Japan a Multicultural Country? The Case of Recent Politics toward Ainu
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Presentation № 1
    Depending on the number of students, presentations will be conducted in groups by 2-4 students. The time limit for presentation is 20 minutes and should not be exceeded. Students are expected to read literature recommended in the syllabus, as well as to search for extra sources, especially in order to get most recent information on the topic of their presentation. The report begins with the presentation of the topic/abstract/objectives to the audience and ends with conclusions and a list of references. 1. Content of the report - corresponds to the stated topic, fully reveals the topic; - should be made in an academic language; - reporter should present logical and convincing argumentation, complete and reasoned answers to the questions; - lack of factual errors; - reporter should understand the main terms of the report, if necessary – explain their meaning to the audience; - appropriate conclusions to the stated objectives. 2. Presentation design - the presence of illustrative material (maps, diagrams, tables, photos) with an indication of the source; - a list of sources, drawn up in accordance with the requirements. 3. Speech - it is not allowed to read in advance prepared text on any medium; - the roles of the participants are evenly distributed; - compliance with the time limit (20 minutes). NOTE that the highest grade (10) implies the involvement of the audience in the discussion.
  • non-blocking Presentation №2
    Depending on the number of students, presentations will be conducted in groups by 2-4 students. The time limit for presentation is 20 minutes and should not be exceeded. Students are expected to read literature recommended in the syllabus, as well as to search for extra sources, especially in order to get most recent information on the topic of their presentation. The report begins with the presentation of the topic/abstract/objectives to the audience and ends with conclusions and a list of references. 1. Content of the report - corresponds to the stated topic, fully reveals the topic; - should be made in an academic language; - reporter should present logical and convincing argumentation, complete and reasoned answers to the questions; - lack of factual errors; - reporter should understand the main terms of the report, if necessary – explain their meaning to the audience; - appropriate conclusions to the stated objectives. 2. Presentation design - the presence of illustrative material (maps, diagrams, tables, photos) with an indication of the source; - a list of sources, drawn up in accordance with the requirements. 3. Speech - it is not allowed to read in advance prepared text on any medium; - the roles of the participants are evenly distributed; - compliance with the time limit (20 minutes). NOTE that the highest grade (10) implies the involvement of the audience in the discussion.
  • non-blocking Written exam
    The exam for the course will be held in the test format on the LMS platform, includes 30 questions. Regulations: quiz = 1 minute, fill the gaps = 2 minutes, open-ended = 3 minutes. Updating the answer is not allowed.
  • non-blocking On-line test (MOOC)
    Students should complete the on-line course “Religions and Society in China” and pass the test using their corporate mail no later than 14 days before the start of the exam. Link to the course https://www.coursera.org/learn/religions-society-china#syllabus.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.1 * On-line test (MOOC) + 0.2 * Presentation № 1 + 0.2 * Presentation №2 + 0.5 * Written exam
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Hamid, M. E. B. A. (2006). Understanding the Cham Identity in Mainland Southeast Asia: Contending Views. SOJOURN: Journal of Social Issues in Southeast Asia, 21(2), 230–253. https://doi.org/10.1355/sj21-2e
  • Ming Dong Gu. (2018). Why Traditional Chinese Philosophy Still Matters : The Relevance of Ancient Wisdom for the Global Age. Routledge.
  • Pan, C. (2015). Understanding Chinese Identity in International Relations: A Critique of Western Approaches. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.B31BB10D

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Nuyen, A. T. (2003). Confucianism, Globalisation and the Idea of Universalism. Asian Philosophy, 13(2/3), 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1080/0955236032000162727
  • Tamaki, T. (2019). Repackaging national identity: Cool Japan and the resilience of Japanese identity narratives. Asian Journal of Political Science, 27(1), 108–126. https://doi.org/10.1080/02185377.2019.1594323
  • Yu, F.-L. T., & Kwan, D. S. M. (2008). Social construction of national identity: Taiwanese versus Chinese consciousness. Social Identities, 14(1), 33–52. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504630701848515