Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Tracking the Dragon: Understanding China's Foothold in Globalization

Dr Nancy Street.

China embarked upon "the four modernizations" in the 1980s under Deng Xiaoping, following the end of the Cultural Revolution and the death of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai in 1976. In the years that followed, the Chinese government took small steps toward globalization, often through joint ventures, as it opened the doors that had been closed for nearly thirty years. The impact of globalization on Chinese society, its workers and their attitudes and beliefs can be illustrated through examples such as the Liaoyang and Daqing oilfield crises in March of 2002. China's recent entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), its celebration of MFN (U.S. trade--most favored nation) status, and winning its bid to host the Olympics in 2008 have significantly enhanced its "face" or sense of self. The benefits could produce much more than a fervent nationalism. Indeed, the preparations for the Olympic Games may provide the impetus China needs to forge a viable bridge between the "haves" and the "have nots," creating a model for civil society as well as unprecedented distinction on the international stage.


Dr Nancy Street  (United States)
Department of Communication Studies and Theatre Arts
Bridgewater State College

Dr. Street has spent more than two decades researching China and its cultural identity. Her publications on the topic include two books (In Search of Red Buddha and American Businesses in China) as well as numerous journal articles and convention papers.

  • Four modernizations
  • Globalization
  • Civil society
  • "face"

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)