Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Popular Memories of the Mao EraFrom Critical Debate to Reassessing History$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sebastian Veg

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390762

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390762.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM HONG KONG SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.hongkong.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Hong Kong University Press, 2022. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in HKSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022



Trauma, Nostalgia, Public Debate

(p.1) Introduction
Popular Memories of the Mao Era
Sebastian Veg, Sebastian Veg
Hong Kong University Press

This introductory essay provides a theoretical and historical overview of how the notions of memory and history have been conceptualized in relation to China. In Pierre Nora’s view state-led memory sacralizes the past, whereas history, as produced by civil society, tends to rationalize it; in authoritarian settings, an additional distinction is often drawn between “official history” and “popular memory,” construed as more “authentic.” This essay further historicizes the notion of popular memories of the Mao era by arguing that they have followed a three-tiered evolution: the first stage in the 1980s gave rise to the expression of mainly traumatic but closely controlled narratives, the second stage in the 1990s was dominated by nostalgia and social protest against marketization of the economy, while the third stage investigated in the present volume evinces a turn toward public debate and critical memory.

Keywords:   History and Memory, Trauma, Contentious Memory, Public sphere, Civil society

Hong Kong Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .