WAITING FOR 2008 OLYMPICS: POLITICS BETWEEN PEOPLE, THE WEST AND THE CHINESE STATE
Andrews, David L
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In this dissertation, I primarily examine the power complex formed by the People/the peoples, the Chinese state and the West, particularly its embodiment before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This dissertation will adopt Giorgio Agamben's theorizing of People/peoples to map the dialectical power dynamics through which the state sovereign of China tended to reinforced itself through hosting the Beijing Games. In addition, by engaging critical theories of cultural studies, I hope to avoid structural formalism caused by relying on one particular theory. Thus, by bringing post-colonial theories, theories of intersectionality, theories of transnational feminism and theories of globalization together, I want to capture the role discursively played by the West that shape and reshapes the People/the peoples. The focus of my empirical study is the People/the people. Each chapter explores one group of individuals - the peoples confined by constructed identities. According to Agamben, the People/the peoples are nothing but pure construction by the power of the state. Although the People/the peoples are sometimes "fragmentary multiplicity of needy and excluded bodies" (Agamben, 1998), it is often the case that the People/the peoples resist the power, acquire new subjectivities, and even actively engage in power negotiation with the state and the West. In this sense, the People/the peoples are not what Agamben theorized "bare life" that can only unconditionally subject themselves to the power. Instead, they carry the potential to disrupt power construction by forming transcendental subjectivity. Following Andrews' (2008) suggestion of embracing Physical Cultural Study, I employ a variety of qualitative methodologies to articulate the dynamic power complex. By doing so, I hope to make my limited contribution to breaking the confines that the power used to construct the People/the peoples, and possibly leading China to its proper place in this cosmopolitan world.