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According to Yao, the development of the knowledge and autonomy of professionals in the Chinese context relies on them raising themselves up to be junzi , and only those who become junzi can organize other professionals into coherent groups and gradually shape professional ethical standards, through appropriate and prudent relations with the government and the people. Yao argues that the commercialization and bureaucratization of healthcare provision can only be overcome if doctors use their autonomy to achieve an ethical re-awakening, and that teachers must become junzi , because it takes a junzi to foster a junzi.

As elite exemplars, he argues that the junzi in each field possess the following attributes: high moral conduct, an authoritative presence, and the desire and skill to participate in public affairs. But when politicians, businessmen and scholars go astray, they become corrupt, show off their riches, overindulge in drink and sex, and lose concern for the people and public affairs. This entails every CCP school, every civil service college, legal college, commercial college, etc.


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Yao dreams of a dynamic, liberal market economy, powered by ethically outstanding junzi entrepreneurs and junzi professionals. In doing so, he provides a more developed model than Yu for the reconfiguration of the pursuit of material wealth within a Confucian moral framework. His attention to middle-class professionals highlights their importance as a moral cornerstone in the project of Yao and other intellectuals to re-Confucianize China. In this section, in order to explore how highly educated Chinese men are responding to the ideas and ideals of intellectuals of the junzi , I discuss the case of Bradley, a young Chinese professional man whom, as mentioned above, I interviewed as part of larger project on the masculine subjectivities of men from China working in London.

Bradley was one of the two project participants who explicitly cited the junzi ideal among the six who stated adherence to typical Confucian values. Of these two, I have chosen to focus on Bradley because he specifically referenced Yu Qiuyu as a major influence on his thinking, neatly illustrating the link between intellectual discourse and the practices of the highly educated outlined by Yoshino.

The son of officials, in his mid-twenties and a design professional, Bradley had moved to the UK from east China for his high school education. When we met for the interview, he told me his relocation to the UK had forced him to reconsider his notions of China and Chinese culture.

China's Changing Workplace: Dynamism, diversity and disparity, 1st Edition (Hardback) - Routledge

China needs more self-cultivation to be taught. For Bradley, the issue of self-cultivation raised interesting questions about the nature and exercise of the power wielded by the Chinese Communist Party CCP. Bradley expressed in his comments a tension between a narrow, insufficient CCP patriotism and his desire for a more fulfilling engagement with Chinese cultural identity. If everyone or every society or culture in the world had the potential to possess these attributes, they would cease to be defining features of Chineseness.

A quotation from Gao initiates an account of an interview with him in a article in the China Youth Daily :.

China's Changing Workplace: Dynamism, Diversity and Disparity

Even if peasants lived deep in the mountains for ages and ages without books or education, they would still understand the basis for being a junzi and not a xiaoren, and would guide their offspring to follow benevolence and righteousness and not offend Heaven and Earth. This kind of cultural and racialized nationalism inevitably benefits the Han as the existing hegemonic group in China.

As an educated Chinese men living and working in a world in which Western power is hegemonic, he has striven to embrace a cultural nationalist reworking of junzi masculinity against a historical background in which Chinese masculinity has been undermined, challenged and erased.

His refashioning of his identity seeks to link his masculinity with Chinese nationhood and culture in ways that thwart the ever-present potential undoing of his manhood. He enfolds ideas of junzi -hood into his own subjectivity, invoking the junzi in inventive ways to imagine a more moral, less consumerist China, to promulgate a patriotism rooted in historical culture rather than CCP interests, and to reconcile Chinese intellectuals with marketplace economics.

The increasing manifestation of the junzi model in internet blogs, current affairs magazines, TV programs and recently published books show that many other educated professional men are also invoking this model of masculinity in their own particular trajectories of identity-making. Indeed, despite an increasingly gender-neutral framing, including by Bradley and in the texts I have analyzed, the culturally nationalist junzi model remains in everyday life mostly a preoccupation of men, and thus a masculine ideal.

As emerging economies have grown in wealth and confidence since the s, in some cases leaving colonial era shadows further behind them, they have also felt free to discard notions that modernization is synonymous with Westernization. Using Confucianism as their foundational philosophy provides them with a usefully indirect way of critiquing the Communist authorities.

Yu has proven particularly successful at criticizing current norms without ever falling into taboo territory. Such efforts are not without effect, as the example of Bradley shows. This negotiation of social status in a commercializing and globalizing China is complemented by a simultaneous negotiation of status globally. Chinese intellectual voices are urging the promotion of Confucian values across the world.

When Yu has been challenged in the past over the accuracy of details of his writings, he has brushed them aside, and has brought the focus back to these big ideas. But the only means that they have of influencing many people with their ideas is paradoxically through the very mass commercial culture that they condemn as immoral and deleterious. Yu, Yao and their fellow travellers know their only chance is to embed the junzi in nationalist sentiment.

Yet, if they succeed, they may find, as Meissner warns, that they have helped create a rather more unpleasant regime than the one that they envisaged. I am grateful to Professor Kam Louie for highlighting this point in comments on my presentation of an earlier version of this paper at University of San Francisco, November This culturalist movement, which is dominated by men, has energized historical masculine ideals such as the junzi.

Can women be called junzi? Lyons, eds. Bell, Daniel A. Princeton, N. Benesch, Oleg. Accessed April 7, Accessed August 3, Birdwhistell, Joanne D.


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Boretti, Valentina. Accessed August 2, Duara, Prasenjit. Berkeley: University of California, London: Sage, Beijing: Zhonghua shuju, Gergen, Kenneth J. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Gong, Haomin. Guo, Yingjie. London: Routledge, Hibbins, Ray. Hinsch, Bret.

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Masculinities in Chinese History. Hird, Derek. Holbig, Heike, and Bruce Gilley. Huang, C. Accessed March 13, Jones, Alisa. Kong, Shuyu. New York: Bloomsbury, Liang, Qichao. November 05, Accessed March 21, Liechty, Mark. Lipman, Jonathan. Louie, Kam. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Pomfret, Vancouver: UBC Press, Madsen, Richard. He is in particular interested in the projection of domestic form of entrepreneurship and country specific advantages into foreign host markets. Work on this topic is done with international partners and draws on his earlier research on border trade and economic regionalisation.

It's time for a more balanced debate about the national interest The Conversation , Published online: 8 April Krug B, and Hendrischke H China's institutional architecture: a new institutional economics and organization theory perspective on the links between local governance and local enterprises Asia Pacific Journal of Management , In Press. Ferguson D, and Hendrischke H Demystifying Chinese investment in Australian agribusiness: important choices to be made.

Hendrischke H The other side of competition: Foreign firms should focus more on the diversity of local competition China Daily, USA weekly edition. Asian Currents September , Hendrischke H Changing legislative and institutional arrangements facing China's workplace China's Changing Workplace: Dynamism, diversity and disparity ; Routledge , Oxon , Chinese investment in Australia is growing strongly and involving new industries such as healthcare. Contact the University Disclaimer Privacy Accessibility.