THE POLITICS OF PROPRIETY: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THE NEW LIFE MOVEMENT AND THE FIVE STRESSES AND FOUR BEAUTIFICATIONS CAMPAIGN IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY CHINA
Master of Arts
Through an analysis of two social campaigns, the New Life Movement and the Five Stresses and Four Beautifications Campaign, this study presents two main arguments: first, although the two campaigns took place half a century apart, and were led by two antagonistic political parties, they were essentially similar, in terms of their theoretical assumptions, administrative style and main features; second, the similarities between them were the result of an outlook shared by both the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a mentality profoundly influenced by traditional Chinese culture--Confucian attitudes, values and beliefs. Thus, despite their different attitudes toward Confucianism, both the KMT and the CCP have been molded by traditional influences. Certain distinctive characteristics of traditional Chinese culture, such as its emphasis on morality: its obsessive concern with li (propriety), are still the most notable characteristics of Chinese politics and society in the twentieth century.
Asian history; Australia; History of Oceania