Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

War Heroes: Constructing the Soldier and the State in Modern China, 1924-1945
by Xu, Yan, Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2013, 297; 10891762
Abstract (Summary)

The frequency of wars in modern China between 1924 and 1945 was accompanied by the phenomenon that the soldier figure played an important ideological role in state rhetoric and social discussions. Different political, social and cultural forces, such as Jiang Jieshi (1887–1975)'s Nationalist government (1927–1949), the Whampoa Military Academy, urban intellectuals, activists, professionals, writers, students, and the Chinese Communists in the revolutionary base of Yan’an constructed the soldier figure to argue for their agendas and assert their political influence.

The multiple meanings assigned to the soldier figure by diverse forces as well as the intentions behind the meanings are the main theme uniting this dissertation. This theme serves as a useful window to explore the state-building processes in the GMD and CCP areas and the complex state-society relations that were engendered by these processes in modern China. By examining how different political, social and cultural forces resisted, collaborated with, complicated, questioned and confronted the heroic ideal of the soldier promoted by Jiang and the Nationalist government, this dissertation demonstrates that the cultural negotiations over how to create and support a strong army were central to the state-building processes in modern China, and a significant factor in determining different trajectories in state-society relations in the regions controlled by the GMD and the CCP.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reed, Christopher A.
Commitee: Sieber, Patricia, Zhang, Ying
School: The Ohio State University
Department: History
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Asian History, Asian Studies, Military history
Keywords: Modern China, Soldier images, State building, State-society relations, The Second Sino-Japanese War
Publication Number: 10891762
ISBN: 978-0-438-09725-4
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