A number of states have enacted laws prohibiting Chinese and others from “countries of concern” from purchasing homes or land.
Forced Competition And Existential Comparisonism - A Conversation By Xiang Biao 项飙 (April 14th, 2023)
Join the discussion! In this conversation, participants are invited to share personal experiences and observations. Xiang will start the conversation by providing a brief history about examination in China.
Location: ASC 204, University of Southern California (Annenberg School for Communication Building on this map)
- 1:00-3:00 PM (PDT) Xiangbiao's talk
- 3:00-4:00 PM (PDT) discussion
Any society, particularly in its education system, faces the question of how to differentiate members (students) in order to select the suitable candidates for particular positions. Method of differentiation has profound consequences, including the widespread mental stress that young people face in China, the US, and other parts of the world today. In this conversation participants are invited to share personal experiences and observations. Xiang will start the conversation by providing a brief history about examination in China. In the modern times, interpersonal competition based on performance replaced selection based on virtue as the main method of differentiation.
Furthermore, since the 1990s, competition became such a dominant mode of organizing education as well as other domains of social life that many young people constantly and compulsively compare the self to others. Comparisonism is different from competition because comparisonism is often about the incomparable—for instance one works exceedingly hard to outperform a classmate who has richer parents in a maths exam. Such comparisons became widespread as this is how some people establish the sense of self, define one’s relation to the world, and shape one’s daily feelings and actions, thus “existential comparisonism”. In this process, horizontal interpersonal solidarity breakdown in the favour of individuals’ (over)identification to an abstract, totalizing evaluation system.
Here are the materials for participants to read before the talk.
- An interview that explains how Xiang has come up with the common concerns approach
- An earlier short essay reflects on what social theory can do
- A book-length conversation about Xiang’s life and work
- An early experimentation with the “common concerns” approach
Please register via the form below.
Chinese companies are among the world's largest video game firms. They are on the move in some of the fastest growing markets.
Throughout its history, the Chinese Communist Party has sought to dictate what is written and taught about its past. And some have always found ways to offer a fuller picture of what they and others have experienced.