On Modernity's Changes to “tradition”: A Sociological Perspective

This article will explore how “tradition” has changed in the process of modernity, with reference to the history and current state of Chinese ethnicities. By employing inevitable relationships in researching “tradition,” such as tradition and the past, tradition and its “original form,” old tradition and new tradition, and the reconstruction and neo-construction of tradition, this article reveals a dynamic but stable essential relationship among them. Whereas both the historical nihilism that completely repudiates tradition and the historical conservatism that completely affirms it are one-sided and untrue, my analysis indicates that the modern development of a Chinese nationality is, in some sense, the history of “the growth of the modern and the invention of tradition.”

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