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Title: The Changing Other: Footbinding, China and the West, 1300-1911
Authors: HE QI
Keywords: footbinding, China, the West, Changing, Other
Issue Date: 10-Jan-2012
Citation: HE QI (2012-01-10). The Changing Other: Footbinding, China and the West, 1300-1911. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis covers a historical span of five centuries, from the fourteenth century, when the first Westerner, the Franciscan friar Odoric of Pordenone, wrote about footbinding, to 1911 when the practice was officially outlawed by the Republic of China. It argues that Western (Euro-American) interpretations of footbinding roughly corresponded to Western images of China. During the period when China was the more powerful party in interactions with Western nations, Western descriptions of footbinding tended to be positive, as one of many admirable elements of Chinese civilisation. During the nineteenth century, when the power relations were reversed, dominant Western interpretations of footbinding were negative, as one of many barbaric customs that marked China as a backward nation. Therefore, missionaries and other groups of Westerners initiated campaigns to eradicate footbinding. Seeing their nation through Western eyes, Chinese elites joined anti-footbinding movements, hoping to modernise the nation and save China?s international face.
Appears in Collections:Master's Theses (Open)

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