Body as a Metaphor： Hair-cutting in Schools in Republican China
In Republican China， construction of human body was a vehicle of displacing and displaying social anxieties， and the Chinese body encountered intensive and continuous configuration ( Huang jinlin， 2006， P.3). Schools in Republican China， as an enclosed space， organized along with Republican China， are of importance to regulate bodies. Human body gives a privileged access to the research of history of education in Republican China. In this paper ， we will examine the conflicts and struggles between school authorities and girls around “ girls' hair” ， which occurred in the early Republican China. Republican China experienced a series of conflicts and struggles around girls' hair in school. It is interesting to find a more traditional view on girls' hair-cutting or hair-perm prevailed ， while forbidding feet-bind- ing and liberating breast were seen as a rebellion against body repression. Based on literature review ， we analyze the possible reasons behind it. In the early 20th century ， inspired by national liberation movement ， as well as democratic revolution movement and international feminist movement ， women ， s self-consciousness in China was awakened. Women， s pursuit of liberation evoked the anxiety of men ， who ， for a long time ， monitored the discourse on what image of women should be. The right of self-determination of hair was considered as a protest against male domination ， hence the conflicts and struggles between girls and schools. That girls' hair cutting or hair-perm was not an endowed symbol of modernity was another reason. In Republican China ， women were imbued with “nationalist universality in a masculinist discourse”（Tani Barlow， 1996，pp. 58). While girls' hair-cutting or hair-perm even in modem western countries met with opposition ， the image of modem women which the progressive intellectual class ( overwhelmingly male) coostructed ， who put all modern western experiences as reference， did not involve hair-cutting or hair-perm. Furthermore ， in the article Figuring Modernity： Th na ，Sarahe Stevens proposed that there were two images of woman in Republican China ， the figure of the New Woman and the figure of Moder Girl ， and these two images reflected opposite views of moderity ， the former stood for the nation and its quest for modernity and the latter was described as the expression of modernity vis- ually ，represented fears for the modern nation and the drawback of modernity. This paper explores the factors which contributed to the construction of girls' hair in school in Republican China ， that is ， the issue of modernity and nation ， the pursuit of women ， s liberation and being fashionable.
|關鍵詞||民国时期学校、女学生、女子剪发、身体生成、schools in Republican China、girl students、hair-cutting、construction of human body|