Date of Thesis

5-9-2013

Thesis Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Type

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Comparative Humanities

First Advisor

James Shields

Abstract

This thesis chronicles the development of western forms of race and racism in China. It then studies contemporary China using theories derived from whiteness studies in order to explain the unique position that whites (Caucasians) have in China today. In Chapter I, I break down the definition of race and introduce a foundation for a whiteness studies approach to research. In Chapter II, I analyze how Chinese classified themselves and other humans prior to the western system of race. In Chapter III, I chronicle the introduction of western forms of race and racism to China, and the appropriation of these concepts to suit Chinese goals. In Chapter IV, I approach cultural phenomenon in contemporary China by situating them in their historical traditions as well as by approaching them as displaying an internalized racism and white privilege. Finally in the Conclusion, I postulate on what China¿s contemporary racial system means for China.

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