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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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Tensions within the May Fourth Movement

Tensions within the May Fourth Movement

(p.182) Chapter 6 Tensions within the May Fourth Movement
The Power of Position

Timothy B. Weston

University of California Press

This chapter argues that Beijing University was characterized by an uneasy, halting embrace of “the new,” and uncertainty as to what, exactly, the consequences were for intellectuals who claimed to be committed to New Culture values. It investigates the debates over the proper mission for Beida and how the institution itself should be run; the process by which the university was opened to female students; and the way its intellectuals viewed themselves in relation both to society and to popular cultural tastes. The chapter also shows post-May Fourth Beida's rootedness in the past, and mentions the extent to which the May Fourth Movement did in fact forever change the institution. It then addresses the dialectical relationship between the old culture and the new. The New Culture commitment to sexual equality had not significantly loosened the tenacious hold of traditional mores pertaining to relations between the sexes.

Keywords:   May Fourth Movement, Beijing University, New Culture commitment, sexual equality, intellectuals, female students

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