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The Taiwan Studies Programme is delighted to announce that Professor Mau-Kuei Chang is a research fellow at Academia Sinica, a research institute based in Taipei, Taiwan will be presenting the first of the 2015/16 series of Taiwan Studies lectures on "Aren’t Taiwanese Chinese? The Taiwanese Identity Puzzle".
Mau-Kuei Chang is a research fellow at Institute of Sociology, Academa Sinica, a research institute based in Taipei, Taiwan. He has a Ph.D degree from Purdue University, specializing in political sociology. He has published in the areas of social movements, and studies on ethnic relations and nationalism in Taiwan. He taught courses on Citizenship, Civil Society, and Globalization at National Taiwan University and Taiwan Normal University. His research have been about the life histories and memories in Mainlanders in Taiwan and the transformation of Taiwanese identities. He was the editor-in-chief of the Taiwanese Sociology, and served as the President of Taiwanese Sociological Association (2009-2010). He has been actively involved in Taiwan’s Civic Education reform, and now coordinator of the Research Group for China Impact Studies at the IOS, researching on the dynamic impacts of cross-straits relations change on Taiwan society.
During the past two decades in Taiwan, waves of survey data have confirmed that there has been a growing trend for people who identify themselves as Taiwanese rather than Chinese. The responses have reached and hovered around 60% since 2014. This is often presented as the “rising Taiwanese identity” trend correlated to growing support for Taiwan independence, or “Taiwan is not a part of China” political viewpoints. Nevertheless, about 60% of the population supports the idea that people at both sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to the same culture and same race (tongwen tongzhong), and, about 90% of the people think that Taiwanese people belong to the Chinese Nation (zhonghua minzu). How should we reconcile or understand this apparent contradiction? What is the relation between the rising Taiwanese identity and the continuous embrace of the Chinese Nation in an era when China is rising? In this talk I shall review the complexities of ‘Taiwanese-ness’, explore how the Chinese Nation is imagined by the Taiwanese people, and the changing meanings of Taiwanese (and Chinese Nation) in its institutional and cultural/symbolic contexts, and in the context of dynamics of cross-Strait relations between China and Taiwan.
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