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The Power of PositionBeijing University, Intellectuals, and Chinese Political Culture, 1898-1929$
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Timothy Weston

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520237674

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520237674.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2021

Introduction: Locating Beijing University in History

Introduction: Locating Beijing University in History

(p.1) Introduction: Locating Beijing University in History
The Power of Position

Timothy B. Weston

University of California Press

Beijing University occupies a particularly distinguished place in modern Chinese history. This study is constructed around four major contentions. The first of these is that Beijing University's early history provides an ideal space in which to study how humanistic intellectuals worked to reposition themselves during a period of profound change and uncertainty. The second is that the complexity of Beida's history has been obscured by the historiography on the May Fourth Movement. The next contention is that the May Fourth Movement, which was informed by conservative instincts in addition to the more familiar and far-better-studied radical ones, grows out of a focus on political culture. The last is that Beida's history is most profitably studied in the context of scholarship which is sensitive to spatial variation in China. The cultural power of the middle class significantly challenged the rationalistic May Fourth approach to the remaking of Chinese society.

Keywords:   Beijing University, Chinese history, Beida, May Fourth Movement, historiography, cultural power, Chinese society

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