From Discipline to Attempt at Liberation: Transformation of Body Education in the Late Qing Dynasty from the Perspective of Hormonology
Human s physical body is greatly valued in Chinese traditional culture and there accumulated abundant resources of body education. However， the physical body mainly became a display of people ^ s spiritual virtue ， due to the fact that human being was deemed as the existence of virtue in the context of Chinese traditional culture. Human body was highly disciplined with the popularity of etiquette culture ， the penetration of power ， as well as the tame of social customs and educational tradition. Thus ， the body became the practice of etiquette ， power ， social customs and educational tradition ， and fell victim to maintaining the social order. Dominated by etiquettes and manners ， scholars and students firmly adhered to social customs and allow their physical bodies to be tightly bound by the rule of ritual. As a result ， their bodies could not be fully utilized and were getting weaker and weaker. While the ritual was exercised as a moderate way to dominate human body ， the act of shaving man ， s hair and wearing braid would be a violent manifestation. Besides ， under the influence of power ， the Han people，s head was transformed into the Manchu people，s head ， and men were used to having their tails shaved ， which was popular in the Qing Empire. In addition ， foot-binding ， as a social custom ， was a principal way to discipline female ’ s body ， which caused severe distortion of their feet and directly affected female ^ s body health as well as their action capacity. In particular ， educational tradition emphasizing reading ， memorizing ， and punishment was monotonous and dull. Corporal punishment was widely used as a teaching method. The lack of P. E. class ， the prohibition of playing games ， and the poor sanitary conditions resulted in students ’ weak and vulnerable bodies ， which was the root cause of the decline of Qing Dynasty. Stimulated by the foreign culture ， the Chinese people in the late Qing Dynasty began to gain a new un- derstanding of human being ， and human being was redefined ， that is ， human being was not merely the existence of virtue ， but freedom ， equality ， and empowerment ， as well as a rational being ( with knowledge ， skill ， intelligence and reason as the core elements) . Both virtue and rationality were attached to human ， s body. Only then was human body seen as important as virtue and rationality. The body under the discipline of etiquette culture ， social custom ， and educational tradition began to get liberated. The cramming education of instilling book knowledge was replaced by the combination of the transition of book knowledge and hands-on activities; empirical knowledge was valued; students ’ bodies were less bounded; and gymnastics became the principal means of human body liberation. In this sense ， the liberation of human body began ， though the degree was preliminary in the late Qing Dynasty. The extent to which people emphasized body was closely related to the extent of their understanding of human being. Human body would be overlooked if human being was merely understood as the existence of spirit ， and thus harmonious development of body and mind would be a fantasy rather than a reality. It should be noted that in Chinese education today there widely exist health problems caused by the cramming education for examination. In conclusion ， the problem of body education in the late Qing Dynasty is not only a historical issue ， but more importantly ， a reality concern.
|關鍵詞||身体、规训、解放、human being、physical body、spirit、discipline、liberation|