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Oneness and ‘the church in Taiwan’

Anthropology Is Possible without Relations but Not without Things

Gareth Paul Breen

) consists of a relatively unique, detailed, and extensive set of ideas concerning the importance of ‘oneness’ ( heyi wu jian ). Among participants in ‘the church in Taiwan’ with whom I conducted fieldwork, I heard the term ‘oneness’ and its synonyms many

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“Banal Apocalypse”

An Interview with Author Ta-wei Chi on the New Translation of The Membranes

Jane Chi Hyun Park and Ta-wei Chi

The Membranes is a classic, prize-winning science fiction novella by Taiwanese writer and scholar Ta-wei Chi, originally published in 1996 when Chi was only in his twenties. The book speaks to a number of topics close to my heart: my love of

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Digitally Dismantling Asian Authoritarianism

Activist Reflections from the #MilkTeaAlliance

Adam K. Dedman and Autumn Lai

girlfriend, Weeraya Sukaram (also known as “Nnevvy”). These included a retweeted post critical of China's role in the COVID-19 pandemic and an Instagram comment in which she appears to acknowledge Taiwan's independence from China. Within days, some Chinese

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High-rise social failures

Regulating technologies, authority, and aesthetics in the resettlement of Taipei military villages

Elisa Tamburo

year after the relocation, residents found themselves in a state of “social disarticulation” ( Cernea 1999: 30 ). In 1949, when the Chinese Civil War forced the Kuomintang (Nationalist Party—KMT) to retreat to Taiwan, settlements like Zhongxin Village

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Ming-Lun Chung

This article explores the scale of bullying in Taiwanese schools and the impact of anti-bullying policies. As indicated by different types of research and surveys (academic investigation, nonprofit organization survey, and government projects), the

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Fen-ling Chen and Shih-Jiunn Shi

Since the late 1990s, the dynamics of welfare reform in Taiwan have gradually shifted to tackling new social risks emerging from economic globalization and labor market changes. This article analyzes these structural changes and the relevant institutional features of the labor market. The rise of atypical work has generated wide concern regarding its low wage income and insufficient social protection, triggering debates about which policy measures can effectively tackle the problem of the working poor. Drawing on the quantitative data from a social quality survey conducted by the Social Policy Research Center in National Taiwan University (NTUSPRC) in 2009, our analysis explores the social exclusion differences between regular and atypical workers for their objective and subjective experiences. The objective experiences include current financial situations, negative events, living conditions and political activities of the workers, whereas the subjective experiences refer to their feelings in family position, welfare assessment, discrimination, and autonomy. Our analysis helps explain the effects of work status on the degrees of social exclusion, both in the private and public spheres. The social exclusion experiences of working conditions shed light on social quality in Asia.

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Charles Stafford

Drawing primarily on ethnographic material from Taiwan, this article focuses on misfortune and, more especially, on the ques- tion of whether people are felt to deserve what happens to them-be it bad or good. I examine the cases of several people who have suffered misfortune in life, exploring ways in which they might actively try to make good things happen as a way of convincing others, and indeed themselves, that they are, after all, good. In considering these cases, I discuss three intersecting accounts of fate that are widely held by ordi- nary people in Taiwan and China: a cosmological one, a spirit-oriented one, and a social one.

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Emergence of New Welfare States in East Asia?

Domestic Social Changes and the Impact of "Welfare Internationalism" in South Korea and Taiwan (1945–2012)

Won-Sub Kim and Shih-Jiunn Shi

The development of social policy in East Asia has been gaining momentum in recent decades, challenging scholars to offer an explanation. This article addresses two questions: Are we witnessing the rise of welfare states in East Asia? And if so, what are the driving forces behind this development? We draw on theoretical perspectives of Franz-Xaver Kaufmann, who emphasizes the relationship between the state and civil society as the context of welfare statism, and who elaborated the role of international organizations and law in social policy ("welfare internationalism"). Choosing South Korea and Taiwan as examples, we explore the role of international policy diffusion, highlighting the interaction of international and domestic factors. We find that South Korea and Taiwan have indeed turned into welfare states, and that external "social" ideas, which have received little attention in previous research, have contributed to this development in different historical phases. Our analysis extends Kaufmann's perspective beyond Western welfare states.

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Forget Dawkins

Notes toward an Ethnography of Religious Belief and Doubt

Paul-François Tremlett and Fang-Long Shih

New Atheism is characterized by a binary logic that pits religion against science, belief against doubt, a pre-modern past against a modern present. It generates a temporal sensibility and attitude toward being modern that is a 'survival' of late-nineteenth-century anthropology, where religious belief and the past were bound together in opposition to science and the present. We analyze this binary logic and then, in response, present two ethnographic accounts—one from the Philippines, the other from Taiwan—to support our contention that religion is not just a matter of personal convictions. Rather, it is a public practice in which belief and doubt are constituted socially and dialogically.

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Noble Ghosts, Empty Graves, and Suppressed Traumas

The Heroic Tale of “Taiyuan's Five Hundred Martyrs” in the Chinese Civil War

Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang

On 19 February 1951, a state-sponsored funeral took place in north Taipei in which a splendid cenotaph to commemorate the “five hundred martyrs of Taiyuan”— heroic individuals who died defending a distant city in northern China against the Chinese Communist encirclement—was revealed. In the four decades that followed, the Nationalist government on Taiwan built a commemorative cult and a pedagogic enterprise centering on these figures. Yet, the martyrs' epic was a complete fiction, one used by Chiang Kai-shek's regime to erase the history of atrocities and mass displacement in the Chinese civil war. Following Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s, the repressed traumas returned in popular narratives; this recovery tore the hidden wounds wide open. By examining the tale of the five hundred martyrs as both history and metaphor, this article illustrates the importance of political forces in both suppressing and shaping traumatic memories in Taiwan.