Irish Institute for Chinese Studies - Doctoral Theses

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    Transformation of the state sports policy and system in China (1949–1989)
    (University College Cork, 2019) Shen, Liang; Holzer, Constantin; Qin, Lei; Shanghai University
    Ideologies and the party-state system are key to understanding the transformation of sports policies and systems in Communist China, as they impact significantly on the manner and role of government in developing sport and sports policies. This thesis seeks to analyse the extent to which dominant ideology impacted upon sports policies and systems in China. It also explores the changes in sports policies under dominant ideologies between the Mao and post-Mao era from 1949 to 1989. Gramsci’s contextualised theory of cultural hegemony and Weber’s revised classification provide a critical perspective for analysing the relationship between dominant ideology and sports, enabling us to decipher the relationship between State-Party and sports throughout the shift of political legitimacy from 1949 to post-Mao China (1977–1989). This research has adopted an interpretive perspective to elucidate social construction and changes in political ideology that impacted upon the development of sports policies and systems in Communist China between 1949 and 1989. The transformation of China’s state sports policy is treated as a synthesis of historical narrative, blended with interpretation and reflection of policy documents and interviews, in which key themes are fully explored. Data was collected from a number of sources, including official government documents, news media, and a series of 13 interviews with Chinese officials, scholars and people who experienced this transformation. The analysis reveals that Maoism in practice had a greater influence on sports policies than Communism in China. A contribution made by this thesis is its analysis of the relationship between the components of Mao Zedong Thought or Maoism, including the mass line, and sports policies after the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), especially in relation to the early years of the PRC. Secondly, compared with the Maoist era, sports policies in the 1980s were less affected by ideological requirements, as political ideology in the Party and government policy began to transition into economic pragmatism. This transition fostered the growth of pragmatic and performance-based features in sports policies, which constitutes another contribution of this thesis to the existing research. Thirdly, the party-state system that was formed and developed in the Maoist era remained fundamentally the same during the next era, from 1977 to 1989. However, the launch of market-oriented reform affected more and more aspects of Chinese society, including the sports system. This led to the following contradictions: political and ideological requirements under the party-state system shaped the development of sports policy and system, while post-Maoist market-oriented reform played a profound, irrefutable role in the shaping of sports policy and system by promoting the modernisation of Chinese sports.
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    Writers and Fighters: a comparative study of the Irish literary revival (1900 - 1922) with the revolutionary Chinese May Fourth literary era (1915 - 1927)
    (University College Cork, 2019) O'Malley-Sutton, Simone; Holzer, Constantin; Keough Naughton Institute, Notre Dame University, Indiana, United States
    This study elucidates the link between Irish Revival Literature and the Chinese May Fourth cultural and political movement (1917-1923). Within the framework of Colonial and Postcolonial studies, the study provides a comparative analysis of works by W.B. Yeats (1865-1939) vs Lu Xun (1881-1936), Sean O’Casey (1880-1964) vs Lao She (1899-1966), Lady Gregory (1852-1932) vs Qiu Jin (1875-1907), and, finally, John Millington Synge (1871-1909) and Cao Yu (1910-1996). The research is based on archive consultation, drawing upon a consistent number of Chinese primary sources. The work sheds new light on the reception, within the May Fourth cultural and political movement, of the authors above. It analyses how Irish Revivalist Literature was reshaped in the Chinese context and explicates the various cultural and political implications of these processes. The research provides evidence of the following aspects: (i) The Irish Revivalist linguistic legacy had a unique impact on the Chinese May 4th Movement. The anti-colonialism of writings by Yeats, Synge and Lady Gregory became useful as a model of decolonisation literature for Chinese intellectuals, particularly during the nineteen-twenties. More specifically, through archival research, the author showed that: (ii) Yeats appeared more frequently in Chinese newspaper accounts than other Irish writers such as Wilde, Joyce, Shaw or Beckett and thus was well known by Chinese May Fourth writers as a model for modern literature. Thus, in the account on the Chinese reception of Yeats, an original contribution is provided, adding new arguments to the analysis proposed by Linda Pui-Ling Wong (2003). (iii) Lady Gregory’s plays The Rising of the Moon and Spreading the News were read and translated by Chinese intellectuals and performed throughout China by peasant actors and directors during the 1920s and 1930s. (iv) Seán O’Casey’s and J.M. Synge’s works had also been translated, published and performed in China. Moreover, their writing anticipated some aspects of Brechtian Alienation Effect, a feature that is also perceivable in Lao She’s Teahouse.