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National Bias In Identity Construction: Examples Of Academic Groupings In East Asia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with examples of both Orientalism and 'reversed Orientalism'. Just as Orientalism has as its main referent 'the other' reversed Orientalism has a 'They' in the form of a powerful bully. The chapter analyses three forms of academic nation-ism to show how by framing research problems in terms of the nation-states and world regions various kinds of boundaries are created that are linked political ideologies. The examples from China and Japan have mainly illustrative value, and in no way are meant to be representative for academic life in these countries. The three forms of academic nation-ism are: Naturalist Grouping, Culturalist Grouping, and Globalist grouping. The chapter emphasizes that the three forms of identity creation occur in all academic descriptions of national identity, simply because any distinction between groups includes criteria that discriminate between what is (un)natural or (ab)normal, our culture or their culture, and universal/particular.

Keywords: academic grouping; China; Japan; Orientalism; political ideologies



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