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Transformation of Cultural Identification Reflected in the Change of Idols Chinese People Worship Since the Founding of the Republic

Author: HouZuoZuo
Tutor: JiaYuXin
School: Harbin Institute of Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: idol worship cultural identification transformation
CLC: G05
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 30
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As a response to the increasingly globalization, which is developing towardsthe integration and hybridization between the local and global, self and other, eastand west, and the past and present, the modern and tradition as many scholarsbelieve. The study of identity or “Who was I?”“Who am I?”“Who have Ibecome?” And “Who am I yet to become?” has emerged in recent years. Andintercultural identification seems to have become a hot topic among sociologistsand intercultural communication scholars. Among the studies regarding this issue,is the study of the transformation of cultural identity from the perspective of theexamination and analysis of idols people worship at different historical stages asthe author believes that the idols people wish to learn from, desire to become, andidentify with reflect to different extent, the worshipers’ own cultural identities. Inso doing, the thesis attempts to explore and discover1) the identity status of thepeople at different historical stages;2) the transformation process of people’sidentity from the change of the idols people worship at different stages; and3)especially who they are at the present stage---the21stcentury. The focus of thestudy is twofold: on the one hand, emphasis is laid on the analysis andexamination of the character traits such as personality orientations, individualvalues, self-construal, and some other aspects of the idols people worship, on theother hand, to some extent, the cultural identities of the idols at different stages interms of personalities, self-construal, values, beliefs, worldviews, etc., arecompared and analyzed, so much so that the worshipers’ identities as well as thesocial reality they are situated in are fully reflected and thus revealed.The study attempts to apply the identity theories such as that of Kim’s theory on dynamic identity transformation, theories of Gudykunst on identity formation,Markus&Kitayama’s theory on self-construal, Schwartz’s theory on individualvalues as well as the philosophical ideas by traditional philosophers’ dynamic anddialectical views on the formation and transformation of the universe and myriadthings in the universe, and some others relevant. The purpose of this thesis is tostudy the transformation of the Chinese people’s cultural identification through theexamination and analysis of the character traits (personality orientations,individual values, self-construals, etc.) of the idols people worship at differenthistorical developmental stages throughout the60years since the republic wasestablished in1949. Referring to the division of history stages in the relatedresearch, The thesis divides the past60years’ history since the Republic wasfounded into four stages according to different social environments: the socialistreform and construction stage from1949to1966; the Cultural Revolution stagefrom1966to1976; the stage after Reform and Opening-up from1978to1999andglobalization stage in the21stcentury. The idols in the first three stages areselected referring to the documents and book related to the study of idols as wellas the results of the volunteer vote about the favorite idols in the past. Aquestionnaire is conducted to identify the idols and their outstanding charactertraits of the idols worshipped by people in the21stcentury. Through a systematicinvestigation about the popular idols of these four different stages, the thesisintends to analyze the character traits and the identity characteristics underpinningthese traits. And eventually it discusses worshippers’ cultural identification andtransformation process reflected in the change of idols.

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