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Drink Water, but Remember the SourceMoral Discourse in a Chinese Village$
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Ellen Oxfeld

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780520260948

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520260948.001.0001

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(p.45) Chapter 2 Liangxin
Drink Water, but Remember the Source

Ellen Oxfeld

University of California Press

For the residents of Moonshadow Pond, liangxin (“conscience”) is a core concept. To say that someone has no conscience is to say that he or she is not a moral person. Yet curiously, in both traditional and contemporary China, the analysis of the concept liangxin is undeveloped because liangxin is so central to understanding moral discourse in Moonshadow Pond, this chapter examines its meanings and uses. The chapter's analysis looks at its relationship to other Chinese concepts of morality, as well as its particular uses in Moonshadow Pond. Some scholars have asked if there is a moral system at all in rural China, or if the demise of Maoism with its clear-cut ideology coupled with China's incorporation into the world of global capitalism has left a moral vacuum. Examination of how liangxin is used can certainly help address this question.

Keywords:   Moonshadow Pond, liangxin, conscience, China, concepts, morality, Maoism, capitalism

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