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Day 2 15:45 Panel 16

Local People and Institutions

Coleridge Room

Wang Xuan;Huang Shan

Wang Xuan,

Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Year 6th PhD in folklore

Panorama of the Carnivalesque Life: Chinese Nao Culture and Folk Practices as the Living Philosophy


Nao culture is a staple for interpreting the Chinese spirit world. By drawing on Bakhtin’s concept of the carnivalesque life (1984), I will analyze Chinese carnival culture under the notion “Nao”. “Nao” means making something lively and boisterously. By analyzing folk practices such as celebrating the Lantern Festival, watching folk dramas and participating in temple gatherings and markets, I will sketch a full landscape of Chinese Nao culture. Moreover, I will use the fieldwork materials on a Chinese wedding custom Naodongfang to illustrate how and why Chinese imbedding Nao culture in their living philosophy. Naodongfang includes a series of pranks and games with sexual instructions that are held before, during or after the wedding ceremony. Based on these folk practices on Nao culture, Bakhtin’s four categories of the “carnivalistic sense of the world”, the dualistic topographical cosmic connotations of the holy spiritual upper level and the material bodily lower stratum will be used to illustrate the similarities and differences between Chinese Nao culture and western concept of Carnival. Moreover, Chinese sound discipline and education and its western equivalents will be discussed to construct the panorama of Nao culture which integrates not only landscape but also soundscape (Pen-Yeh Tsao 1989). I will answer these questions: Why do the Chinese practice Nao culture in many occasions in their daily lives? What social and geographical elements and means of production determine the pervasiveness of Nao culture? What emotions and feelings do people input in these carnivalesque occasions? How does Nao culture benefit the Chinese and societies? The significance of folk culture and daily carnival practices will be proved through analyzing Bakhtin’s emphasis on the material bodily lower stratum which indicates comics, folklore, obscenity, earth, females and reproduction power. Finally, the positive functions of humor and play which manifest the carnivalesque living philosophy will be proclaimed.

Huang Shan,

King's College London, Year 3 PhD in Chinese Studies

Power- Political Capital Held by SOE Workers:A Case Study in the Southwestern of China

This paper is part of my research on the Chinese SOE workers in the late reform era (late 1990s till now). By taking Bourdieu’s capital concept as my theoretical framework, in this paper, I introduced political capital to this case study for analysis. According to my fieldwork, there has classification within the working class. SOE workers are not as a unit as they were in Mao’s era or in the pre-reform era. They are frustrated by the restructuring campaign due to the working class was gloried under but nowadays, they feel abandoned by the socialist state. Overall, SOE workers who are in a privileged position before the economic reform, now in a much less advantaged way socially and economically; however, not politically. As political capital is the only capital that SOE workers do not lose too much in the post-reform era, in this paper, I discussed how the political capital, from the actual political resource side and the state given side, acts in EGC environment and how it links to people’s self-identity and classification. Moreover, I examined how the political capital could further help to differ EGC workers from the outside society.

Shan is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Lau China Institute. Before this, she completed her Master Degree at the University of Bristol in Sociology. Her research interests are in the political economy and sociological issues in China. Shan's Ph.D. dissertation topic is on State-Owned Enterprises in China. Her doctoral study is funded by the China Scholarship Council. And her fieldwork research is funded by Lau China Institute, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy at King’s College London.

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