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Social Visibility and Political Invisibility: The Ethnography of a School in Nationalist Taiwan
Beginning as a year-long ethnography of a school in Taiwan in 1990, it provides a concrete point of departure and framework of political-cultural practice for understanding the historical evolution of a system of socialization that resides at the basis of an ongoing process of national identification. This process of national identification has roots in cultural ideology as shaped by changing Nationalist policy and practice to the present. 1990 is also a crucial juncture for viewing a transition from a sinocentric politicizing regime to a Taiwanizing one. My analysis of the school in time and practice, both in the context of education as curriculum and social organization, establishes in my opinion a different critical perspective on contemporary Taiwan. At the same time, it serves as a new paradigm for critical ethnography in cultural studies.
Allen Chun is Research Fellow Emeritus in the Institute of Ethnology, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan. From August 2019, he has been Chair Professor in the Institute for Social Research and Cultural Studies, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan. His interests involve cultural theory, nation-state formation, transnationalism and identity, and his research has focused mostly on Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. His recent books include Forget Chineseness: On the Geopolitics of Cultural Identification (SUNY 2017) and On the Geopragmatics of Anthropological Identification (Berghahn 2019).