From Display of Force to Normalization: Exploring the Transformation of Power in China
Venteicher-Shulman, Bryceon P.
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In the period since Tiananmen the People's Republic of China has deployed new controlling mechanisms in society to better integrate minorities. These mechanisms of control are more subtle and use elements of discipline, panopticism, and bio-power; rather than the spectacle of power associated with sovereigns and gristly punishment. This study uses Foucault to analyze the transition that seems to be occurring in China, in order to show that it should no longer be viewed singularly as an authoritarian power that uses force to control its population. To do this two groups are analyzed, the Uyghur people of Xinjiang, and the Tibetan people. Within each case this thesis explores the development of disciplinarity in the educational system, panopticism and its deployment in religion, and bio-power in birthing and migratory policies. Upon analysis, it is argued that China must be viewed as an authoritarian state that has adopted subtle methods of control, like those found in Western liberal democratic states. Because of this the international community must adapt their views of China in order to better understand how minorities are integrated into Han culture in more highly developed ways.
- Masters Theses