Taiwan’s Quest for Self-Determination and the Language of Resistance: An Analysis of Social Unrest in Taiwan.

Scott Beck, University of Pittsburgh

Full paper: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/beck.html


Taiwan has a history full of oppressive rulers and people who resisted their oppression. During October to December of 2008, widespread protests of government intervention in civil society showed that this struggle is not yet finished. This paper analyzes those protests, particularly as they pertain to the Wild Strawberry Student Movement. Key concepts used in this analysis are an action-centered conceptualization of culture as a tool-kit, a narrative of unfolding, and a language of resistance.

This paper explores the social upheaval that occurred in Taiwan from October to December of 2008. For this analysis, I view culture as a “tool-kit” of symbols, stories, rituals and worldviews, which people use in varying configurations to solve different kinds of problems.1 The appearance of these tools is in many respects born of necessity; in order to understand the raison d’être of any particular tool we must look at the historical and social conditions that necessitated its existence as these conditions act like a “culture” in a petri dish, out of which a multiplicity of tools may emerge. 

Read the full paper: http://www.kon.org/urc/v9/beck.html