Chinese & Taiwanese Postmodernism
Dirlik, Arif and Zhang Xudong.   "Introduction: Postmodernism and China."   Postmodernism and China.   Boundary 2  Vol 24 No. 3 (Fall, 1997).
A good introduction to the postmodern debate in China.  A model for us in theorizing the Taiwanese postmodern. 
  • uneven distribution of the postmodern/capitalist social forms 

  • p. 3  Spatially, in a society such as China, where precapitalist economic relations (and corresponding social and political forms) coexist with capitalist and socialist relations, a category such as the postmodern may be applicable only to a limited sector of society . . . 
         We would like to suggest, to the contrary, that it is precisely such a situation of spatial fracturing and temporal desynchronization that justifies the use of the postmodern against the spatial (as in the nation-form) and temporal (as in the development of a national market and culture) teleologies of modernity.  The coexistence of the precapitalist, the capitalist, and the postsocialist economic, political, and social forms represents a significant departure from the assumptions of a Chinese modernity, embodied above all in the socialist revolutionary project
  • Objections to the use of postmodernism p. 3 

  • presuppose the nation-form as the unit of analysis, which is misleading because of the increasingly problematic status of the nation as a unit of analysis.   [Against PRC's nation-form are
    • uneven regional development, 
    • global economy
    • the Chinese diaspora's assertion of their own sense of Chineseness.
    • the other Chinese-dominated states, Taiwan and Singapore
    Chinese postmodernism and ethnicity 
    [Paraphrasing Akbar Ahmed's idea] Chinese ethnicity is at once a beneficiary and a generator of postmodernism. 

    One irony in Chinese postmodernism 
    p. 4  One of the ironies of postmodernity in China . . ., is that while the ulimate justification for the use of the term may lie in spatial fracturing and temporal dissonance, which call into question any claims to cultural authenticity, Chinese postmodernists insist nevertheless on marking Chinese postmodernity as something authentically Chinese


    Wang Ning.   "The Mapping of Chinese Postmodernity."   Postmodernism and China.   Boundary 2  Vol 24 No. 3 (Fall, 1997): 19-40.
    not the cultural dominant  p. 39-40 

    . . . in Asian and Third World societies, there was no such cultural foundation [modernism] on which postmodernism could be supported. 
         . . . [Postmodernism] has not only taken different forms in the West but has also generated mutations and produced different versions in several non-Western countries, including China.  What postmodernism means in Chinese context, however, is very different from what it originally meant in the Western context.  So in this sense, just as postmodernism is always incompatible with mainstream modernism in the West, it can never become a cultural dominant in Asian or Third World societies, especially China.  . . .it may be assimilated into a new pluralistic context.


    Liao, Ping-hui.  "Literary Discourse and Public Culture in Taiwan."  pp. 41-64 
    --Mentions several postmodern Taiwanese cultural phenomena that are worth further discussion.  
    --Raise several interesting points which can be, again, further debated on.  

    Main Argument--Taiwan's double marginality p. 42 
    . . . it is precisely this double marginality of Taiwan since 1971 that helps produce the desire on the part of the Taiwanese, who have been almost universally abandoned, to engage with or to be entertained by current theoretical trends, and, moreover, that it is a peculiar global/local cultural dialectics that stresses the urgency to negotiate from the periphery, to deconstruct Chinese-Western grand narratives of ideological mapping. 
    --Question: How do we reconstruct contemporary history and explain the on-going events which have multiple cause-and-effect?   How do we prove the existence of a desire?  

    pp. 58-59  [Analyzing the example of the popularity and pirating of "Cousin Lee in the 70's] In addition to the psychosocial need to imaginatively appropriate global products so as to win the nation's way back into the global cultural economy, there was also the people's desire to mobilize indigenous countertraditions in recognition of internal cultural dynamics.  In my opinion , it is this twofold pull, or double articulation, that helps generate the postmodernism craze in Taiwan. 

    p. 59-  [distinguishes 邊陲 periphery and 邊緣 marginality] 
    Positioning Taiwan: Three possible models pp. 61-63 
    1. Wallerstein's world-system --As the notions of developmental logic and the nation-state are generally assumed in advocating the theory of a world-system, its structuring principle of the "core-periphery" (or First-, Second-, and Third-World) classification tends to be static and hence fails to consider the more complex and dynamic transactions across national borders among groups and communities other than the Common Market, the United States, and Japan. 
    2. the global-local dialectics  --even though "glocal"  phenomena are mostly found in the fileds of architecture, telecommunications, fashion, advertising, and international corporation management.  Often criticized for its premature optimism toward global culutre, for its discursive complicity with transnational exploitation, and for taking local everyday resistance for granted, the model, in fact, cannot account for the reasons why some particular cultural, ethnic, or religious traditions are mobilized to consolidate the transnational communities that simply refuse to be integrated in ways either global or local (for example, Chinese immigrants in Indonesia; ethnic groups in the United States; and Jews, Muslims, and Roman Catholics all over the world). 
    3. transnational exchange 

    "譯序"。羅青譯。《繪畫中的後現代主義》 by Steven Henry Madoff (1985)。台北:徐氏基金會,1989。

    台灣的後現代社會  p. I-II 
    (1)  農漁業人口減少,然而因為生物科技及養殖技術的突破,農漁業產品反而增加. 
    (2)  工業人口減少,然因CAD電腦輔助設計製造系統的運用,工業產品反而大量增加. 
    (3)  服務業暴增,成為就業人口的主力. 

    根據行政院主計處民國七十五年度台灣地區勞動立調查統計顯示,該年的平均勞動力是七百九十四萬五千人,而其中農業人口最少,佔百分之17﹔工業人口較多,佔百分之41.4﹔而服務業人口最多,佔百分之41.5,首度超過工業人口﹒從民國五十一年台灣電視公司成立以來,台灣就慢慢開始出現後現代狀況 及現象(言知過早了吧!),而且不斷增加,尤其是到民國七十年以後,更是成了台灣地區社會文化發展的主流。到民國七十五年,由就業人口指標來看,可為正式進入了後工業社會,值得無人密切注意並深入研究。