China in the World: An Anthropology of Confucius Institutes, Soft Power, and Globalization (Paperback)Jennifer Hubbert (author)
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Author Jennifer Hubbert takes the study of soft power policy into the classroom, offering an anthropological intervention into a subject that has been dominated by the methods and analyses of international relations and political science. She argues that concerns about Confucius Institutes reflect broader debates over globalization and modernity and ultimately about a changing global order. Examining the production of soft power policy in situ allows us to move beyond program intentions to see how Confucius Institutes are actually understood and experienced in day-to-day classroom interactions. By assessing the perspectives of participants and exploring the complex ways in which students, teachers, parents, and program administrators interpret the Confucius Institute curriculum, she highlights significant gaps between China's soft power policy intentions and the effects of those policies in practice.
China in the World brings original, long-term ethnographic research to bear on how representations of and knowledge about China are constructed, consumed, and articulated in encounters between China, the United States, and the Confucius Institute programs themselves. It moves a controversial topic beyond the realm of policy making to examine the mechanisms through which policy is implemented, engaged, and contested by a multitude of stakeholders and actors. It provides new insight into how policy actually works, showing that it takes more than financial wherewithal and official resolve to turn cultural presence into power.
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Number of pages: 246
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
Jennifer Hubbert's China in the World is therefore a timely ethnographic look at what actually happens in US-hosted CIs. [Confucius Institutes] . . . The main contribution of China in the World may be to challenge critics of CIs to be more reflective about their conceptual assumptions.-- "H-Diplo"
The main problem with Confucius Institutes, as Hubbert so clearly shows, is not that they curtail free speech or violate human rights, but that they are implemented through administrative agreements that affront liberal democratic principles of shared governance by which teachers and faculty, not administrators or politicians, are recognized as experts of their fields. Written with empathy and understanding for Confucius Institute teachers and students, China in the World is an important read for everyone interested in unpacking the complexity of arguments about Confucius Institutes today.-- "H-Diplo"
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