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Lecture 9

EAS105H1 Lecture 9: Modern Girl

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East Asian Studies
Andre Schmid

EAS105 – March 12: Modern Girl around the World [Book title] • Book based on a seminar in Washington • Madeleine Dong, “Who is afraid of the Chinese modern girl?” -213 o Reflect on the present by talking about the past o Traditional women viewing as modern girl • Connects with previous issues o Global capitalism and globally constituted cultural forms o History of consumption o Gender as a construct/category of historical analysis o Nationalism and ‘invention of tradition’ especially the concept of the traditional women Modern girl, what images come to mind? • 1890s in Korea or Meiji reform there was an edict to cut your hair [for men, not women] • In japan, directed at samurai haircut • In Korea, men don’t want to cut their hair o Seoul, the city walls they put police and jump on people to cut their hair o So no one comes to the city o So prices go up because people have to buy stuff • Korea famous story of a young scholar: cut his hair o Goes back to his wife and she says to him: “a man who shaves his hair does not need a wife and baby”  kills herself because she thinks he’s becoming a Buddhist monk • In East Asia, it starts first with men [hair cutting] • Part of the nationalist project, hygiene is part of health • China is different than those because of the cue o Manchus has their cue • Han nationalism, anti-Manchus people cut their cues as an indication to set up a new government o Revolutionary, overthrew the government so they wear a fake one o Symbolic power but it’s men first who cut their hair o Understanding of citizenship • Things are always affected by gender • Not until this moment that you get a lot of public discussion about hair with women • Issues of motherhood come out often • New occupations in the city [telephone operations] o Also emerging in this moment because of changes in economy and growth of city like Shanghai • Consumption o Cigarette , coffee shop, beer, new forms of entertainment that are arising • Both articles assigned talk about o separate the public discussion, the debates and representation of the modern girls o Mariam says: modern girl is another one of these modern constructs • Anxiety and fear based on changes in East Asia, particularly by men but not just men • Has to do with national movement, who has the right to vote? • Sometimes people get so fixated in how much fun they were having based on images that they forget the political context o Both articles try to articulate the deeper context What are deeper context/changes? • The big cities • Populations in the big cities of EA are still huge • But material culture changes drastically • The rise of consumer culture  modern girl o The rise of department store • In all three Asian countries  rise and creation of department stores • Many scholars look at department stores as symbols of the modern around the world • More Chinese in Canadian department stores than people in Toronto, same with U.S • One of aspect of department store is the physical experience, a new organized space o Dependent upon invention of producing signs, window shopping o Advertisement o Rapid growth of commercial printing press, newspapers, magazines • We know there were big markets in EA long before but now we have industrial produce goods Growth of Urban Middle Class in Japan • Year 1903  2.3 % of population • 1918  6.3% • 1921  10% • People who see advertisement before going to stores and buy them • When we think of the modern girl, we have to see the city changing modern culture • We have to be careful not to say the city is the only thing that is modern but we and the city are advance and the countryside is backwards [not modern] o But Meiji’s most important reform is land reform o Making sure they knew inch of land so they can tax is o How the land system was fundamental to the develop of capitalism o Nothing is more modern than that land system o Happened way before changes in the city o The land system enabled economic growth • Countryside is not backwards, but it may be poor o Taking money out of countryside and placing into city, thus its poor o But it came first • We look at organization and economy Nationalists reform movement • In all 3 countries from late 19 to 20 century, nationalist movement arising • Division of country into warlords • Reunification and struggle of nationalists party • Gives China most complicated of nationalists situation • In Korea, annexation in 1910, can’t be an open nationalists after 1910 • Despite difference in all countries, there’s shared attributes in national movement o New attitudes towards the population o Every individual had to be concerned with their own self-improvement to make the nation stronger o Vision of a socia
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