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The Research On The Thought Of Li Hongzhang’s Social Integration And Control

Posted on:2014-01-09Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:S F TianFull Text:PDF
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After the Opium War, Chinese social order suffered with deep impact along with the strong invasion of western military, economic and cultural. While, social integration role of the traditional Confucian culture was gradually on the decline, and the new social value system has not yet been established. The government was in a critical situation, the society was sounded by danger, and the whole country was under threat of disintegration. In this background, a senior official of the late Qing——Li Hongzhang, came forward to respond to the critical situation, and actively explored the new way of social integration and control.As born in a bureaucratic landlord family, Li Hongzhang accepted the orthodox Confucian education at an early age."the sense of urgency","the statecraft ideology" and "the harmony is precious" which come from Confucian ideology and culture is the cultural genes of Li Hongzhang’s thought on social integration and control. And in the process of dealing with the West, Li realized that China was in a change situation, and learned from the West was the first imperative. Thus, after having a thought of maintaining of traditional Chinese culture or learning advanced western civilization, and following the beaten track or renovation, Li Hongzhang put forward social integration programs from the level of the social system, social organizations and values.In the social system level, Li Hongzhang advocated "absorbing western technology on the basis of the Chinese traditional system", adhered to the dominant position of the Chinese traditional culture and social system, and believed Chinese traditional culture had spiritual values, while western culture has material value, which we can absorb all the favorable elements. This idea effectively reduced the resistance to reform, protected our national dignity, and prevented the rapid disintegration of society.In the level of social organization, Li proposed "unity and practice, mutual aid while keeping hope". After the outbreak of the Taiping Rebellion, Li returned to his hometown Anhui. With the help of the neighbors, relatives, and old friends, he educated the general public to make them comply by with the norms of social behavior, which would let them dare not harboring dangerous elements. On the other hand, he organized military training, resisted of the enemy, and played an indelible role for maintaining the social order of Anhui and the whole of the Qing Dynasty.At the values level, Li proposed "reform the imperial examination system, set up schools to nurture talent". On the one hand, he maintained the imperial examination system’s role of social integration in forming the value recognition and promoting social mobility. On the other hand, he reformed personnel recruitment standards that followed by the imperial examination, established new schools, sent children abroad, guided people to learn westernization, and made the ideas of science and technology into people’s mind. All this activities won a great support among the people, opened up people’s vision and changed the way of thinking. Generally speaking, he achieved a certain degree of social integration and control at the values level.Compared with Kang Youwei who was living in the same era, the renovation’ pace of Li Hongzhang’s was more smoothly and slowly, and his social integration and control thought pursued practical results. Of course, due to the limitations of history and class, Li Hongzhang’s social integration and control thinking had some shortcomings, and his fundamental purpose was to safeguard the corrupt rule of the Qing government. However, Li’s efforts maintained the operation and development of the society, delayed the process of decolonization of China. What he did opened the door of Chinese modernization, and also had some useful reference for the current social construction.
Keywords/Search Tags:Li Hongzhang, Social Integration, Social Control, Social construction
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