Andrew Kipnis - Senior Fellow in the (CAP) Department of Anthropology at the Australian National University
ABSTRACT: This essay examines the importance of Chinese nation-building In the contemporary era. Defining nation-building in terms of processes that help to bridge local differences especially but not only when also distinguishing China from the rest the world, I argue that a focus on globalization has masked the importance of Chinese nation-building to contemporary social change. I analyze three very different societal arenas in which national forms of commonality are being constructed: the consolidation of the education system, the expansion of the urban built environment and the spread of the Chinese internet. Though each arena illustrates a very different aspect of the nation-building process, they all result in an increased degree of commonality in lived experience and communicative practice across China. *The paper will be circulated ahead of the workshop.