Week 10 (or, getting ahead in Week 9) R-Log: A Research Source I’m Exploring…

Use this thread to introduce one of the academic sources you’re reading in relation to your research project this semester. In other words, summarize a key secondary source (a source written by another scholar, published in an academic journal or by a peer-reviewed press) that sheds some helpful analytic light on the topic or related themes… How does the author’s own discussion, key points, or critiques related to the question(s) you’re exploring? Key quotes that you’re engaging with?


6 thoughts on “Week 10 (or, getting ahead in Week 9) R-Log: A Research Source I’m Exploring…

  1. My peer-reviewed article written by Crystal S. Anderson is on an article about Mulan called: Mulan’s Legend and Legacy in China and the United States by Lan Dong, Philadelphia Temple University Press. 2011
    In the review Anderson describes how Dong’s book touches on the meaning of Mulan’s Chinese origins through an exploration of a Chinese female heroic tradition represented by the many women who served in military capacities and were celebrated as female heroes. It makes the compelling argument that the heroism demonstrated by each of these women is still well defined within the Confucian doctrine because her conduct consistently adheres to such core principles as loyalty or filial piety or both, making it possible for a woman to disrupt social norms by crossing the boundaries defining gender roles without incurring severe punishment. This comparative description adheres fairly well to my overall theme of research regarding Mulan and how Chinese culture depicts women in society and how it translates onto film and is portrayed to audiences.

  2. For my research, I will be focusing on the role of sports in Chinese culture and if films that emphasize sports can tell viewers about Chinese history and culture at the time the film was produced. One of the secondary sources I am including in my research is an article from the Journal of Psychology of Sport and Exercise. In the article “The influence of the Chinese sport system and Chinese cultural characteristics on Olympic sport psychology services” written by the group consisting of Si Gangyan, Duan Yanping, Li Hin-Yue, ZHange Chun-Quin, and Su Ning; it explores the socio-cultural influences on Chinese Olympians. They ask the question of why Chinese Olympians become Olympians and what kind of background is consistent with athletes in general.

    The article does additionally look at athletes post the Summer Olympics in Bejinig in 2008. Specifically, how they can transition back to their normal routine (if one was present) after expecting to embody the values of the Chinese government.

    This article is beneficial to my research because it researches what impact sports have on the general population. It also attempts to build a profile of athletes in China. Where they come from, what they do, what their political background is, etc.

  3. My journal article, “The Historiography of the Sino-Japanese War,” by Jansen, Chu, Okamoto, and Oh focuses on the Sino-Japanese War in the first half of the 20th Century and analyzes both the Chinese and Japanese perspectives. Obviously the Japanese, who were on an imperialistic mission, produced many books that “glazed over” the darker bits of the period. Both the Chinese and Japanese believed that the other was the unprovoked aggressor, although mainstream modern history places the blame squarely on the Japanese Empire (which had been allied with Nazi Germany). One of my two films, “City of Life and Death,” is a notoriously sad film about an event known as the “Rape of Nanking.” Nanking used to be the capital of China and when the Japanese invaded it was a predictable target however, the cruel actions taken against civilians, and sometimes children too, continue to be a source of international tension today. “City of Life and Death” is a movie that certainly does no “glossing over” of the horrors of the war. It’s in stark contrast to my other film which is more modern and romanticizes China’s involvement in the Korean War. Overall, both of my films are about how China remembers two wars that occurred in the 20th century. One film (about the Sino-Japanese War) is emotional and touches on the true nature of war, the other film (about the Korean War) is shamelessly obvious propaganda that seems to forget about the thousands of Chinese who died in the conflict. The journal article is a great analysis on how nations manipulate history and public memory to suit their aims or soothe their conscience.


  4. The book that I have been reading is called “Gender Trajectories” by Wei-hsin Yu. In this book, the author makes a lot of statistical comparisons between women in Japan and Taiwan. Along with that, the author also looks at how the home views differ between the two cultures. I really think that this author’s views are interesting in the way that she is suggesting that even though that the Japanese get more help from the government for their “child and women care”, such as maternity leave and gender discrimination laws, it seems that the Taiwanese are more of the mind supporting women to become independent especially through work.

  5. One of my key secondary sources is Yanru Chen’s article: “From Ideal Women to Women’s Ideal: Evolution of the Female Image in Chinese Feature Films, 1949-2000.” This article describes women’s gender roles in Chinese cinema in five periods. The section on the “Ideal Women” describes the female characters portrayed in film as “full of endurance and readiness for self-sacrifice in order to preserve their comrades and defend their revolutionary organization” (Chen). The article explains that the female characters merge their thought processes and understandings of their world to the Communist Revolution (Chen). In this section Chen observed that female characters were always driven to fight in the Communist revolution by a family member’s tragic demise. A quote that would be useful in research would be : ” A woman may be a daughter, wife, lover, and mother at the same time, but in these films their familial roles were merely touched upon as a background for telling the stories of revolution” (Chen).
    The second section of the article described that films produced in the early 1980 were part of the “wounded literature” era (Chen). This period of film “focuses on the wounds inflicted by the Cultural Revolution” (Chen). One quote that particularly stands out is: “As a genre, life drama became increasingly popular after the Cultural Revolution, although during this recovery period these were still employed to represent the larger background of sociopolitical change in the country” (Chen).

  6. The article I read was “On the Cultural Revolution” Annonymously written but translated by Jason E. Smith and attributed to Louis Althusser . The quote at the beginning “(The Chinese Communist Party or CCP) plunges roots into its past, and readies its future.“ stuck with me ringing the same typical idea we hear daily “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” No matter how simplistic the idea sounds, nations and cultures around the world, generation after generation continue to fall into the same cycle. I’m examining the Cultural Revolution spearheaded by Mao Zedong and how it’s lasting ideology of destroying the 4 olds, and the idea that was tackled in the article of transforming the ideas, ways of thinking, ways of acting, and customs of the masses of the entire country, by widest possible appeal through entertainment to the country’s youth, peasants, workers and intellectuals by having the greatest confidence in the masses by uniting against common enemy; foreign invading forces to prevent what happened with Japan repeating.
    One of the films I’m studying to examine this cultural indoctrination is “The Chinese Connection” the first movie in the “Fist of Fury” series starring Bruce Lee. During the cultural revolution in the 1960s, the idea of uniting the country by empowering the the youth and working class against any invading forces and the proletariat who was regressing the country through capitalism were challenged through subtle subliminal messaging of maintaining pride and honor in their revolutionary fighting spirit. In Lee’s movies, he is consistently cast as a young, working class man who’s battle is always against the oppressive masses, and always chooses to fight even until his last breath as seen in the powerful final scene in “Chinese Connection”.

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