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East Asia Program presents: Cross-Cultural Comparison Seminar Series I: China vs the U.S.

341 Eggers Hall

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Revisiting “Socialism” and “Capitalism” in Contemporary Chinese and American Political Discourse What do these terms mean in each respective socio-political context, and what do they portend for the future of U.S.-China Relations? To Tea-Party followers, “Obama Care” is socialist as is big government and government intervention generally. In China rampant capital accumulation falls under the label of “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”, an ambiguous amalgam distinguished from its American counterpart, by the controlling role of the Party-State in maximizing consumerism without ceding “rights” to the denizens of the marketplace. What do these “mixed metaphors” represent, and how is their expression: 1)a reflection of the remnants of past ideological conflicts that appeal to audiences in both countries old enough to retain links to anti-capitalist or anti-socialist rhetoric, 2)reliant on educational sources and practices that reinforce and reiterate anti-socialist or anti-Capitalist ideologies 3)a consequence of unquestioned assumptions and half-truths propagated by the media 4)informed by encounters between Chinese and American ideologues encountered by Chinese and American students and scholars studying in the United States and China, 5)or some combination of all of the above Once we’ve identified what these terms mean and how they operate, what are the implications for the future of U.S.-China relations? Is it possible to get beyond the ideological and conventional cold war labels? What demographic and socio-political factors keep them in play? And, what would it take to displace them? Participants: Qian Zhen, Associate Professor, Central Party School in China Li Shundong, Professor, Shenxi Normal School


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