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The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China - Columbia Scholarship Online
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The Red Guard Generation and Political Activism in China

Guobin Yang


Raised to be “flowers of the nation,” the first generation born after the founding of the People’s Republic of China was united in its political outlook and at first embraced the Cultural Revolution of 1966, but then split into warring factions. Investigating the causes of this fracture, Guobin Yang argues that Chinese youth engaged in an imaginary revolution from 1966 to 1968, enacting a political mythology that encouraged violence as a way to prove one’s revolutionary credentials. This same competitive dynamic would later turn the Red Guard against the communist government. Throughout the 19 ... More

Keywords: Violence, performance, ritual, routinization, Red Guard generation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780231149648
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231149648.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Guobin Yang, author
University of Pennsylvania