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Chinese Discourses on Happiness$
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Gerda Wielander and Derek Hird

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455720

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455720.001.0001

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Cultivating Capacity for Happiness as a Confucian Project in Contemporary China

Cultivating Capacity for Happiness as a Confucian Project in Contemporary China

Texts, Embodiment, and Moral Affects

Chapter:
(p.150) 7 Cultivating Capacity for Happiness as a Confucian Project in Contemporary China
Source:
Chinese Discourses on Happiness
Author(s):

Yanhua Zhang

Publisher:
Hong Kong University Press
DOI:10.5790/hongkong/9789888455720.003.0008

Searching for happiness (xingfu) in contemporary China is noticeably mediated, in discourse and practice, by a revival of Confucian learning, especially Confucian self-cultivation. Drawing on personal observations, textual publications, and media documentation, this chapter illustrates how the Confucian notion of happiness has been formulated to articulate the diverse experience and desires among different social strata in post-reform China. The author argues that happiness engagement in contemporary China has acquired a distinctive Confucian moral-affect of self-cultivation, and in the meantime, Confucianism as an actively practiced tradition has been regenerated, transformed, and made closely relevant to the contemporary living for Chinese people.

Keywords:   Happiness, Confucianism, self-cultivation practice, embodiment, ritual, affect, China

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