(Un)doing nationalism through metaphorical scenario: a case of modern China/Taiwan

  • Jennifer Meei Yau Wei English Department, Soochow University


Ideals of femininities and masculinities (to a lesser extent) are often used to mobilise citizens in testing socio-political times. Familial roles such as mother and wife are prime targets for politicians crafting ideals of nationalism. Comparing the political rhetoric of two of the most prominent female politicians in Chinese/Taiwanese modern history, Mme. Chiang Kai Shek (Mme. CKS, 1989–2003) and Annette Lu (b. 1944), I argue that ideal familial roles have always intersected with politics during social transitions. Moreover, in the developing China/Taiwan contexts, these ideals parallel changes from feudalistic to modern society, and from authoritarian to democratic rule. By looking into the argumentative strategies and familial metaphors, I offer a comprehensive view on how gender, nation, and family values have been articulated in times of transition in Taiwan in the 20th century.