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Wu, "Worlds incomplete: From nation to person," 1997

USC thesis in Culture.
August 26, 2009
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Ju-hua Wu, M.A.

Abstract (Summary)
Contemporary anthropological theory suggests that individual identities are constructed through various personal and national experiences. In this thesis, the author uses travel theory to elucidate the parallels between the recent history of Taiwan, her father's emigration from mainland China to Taiwan during the Communist revolution in 1949, and her own immigration from Taiwan to the United States. The thesis also demonstrates how history and her father's and her own memories of these experiences have been intertwined with the Kuomingtang's "China-centered" ideology on Taiwan to shape their personal identities. The author incorporates her own personal narrative in the discussion of how discourses of the nation-state constitute personal identities. Through the examination of this process, the author concludes that identities should be constructed "against culture," against a timeless, homogenous, and static collective category.

Advisor: Not listed

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