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Dreaming of Better Times: "Repetition with a Difference" and Community Policing in China

Dreaming of Better Times: "Repetition with a Difference" and Community Policing in China positions 3:2 0 1995by D u k e University Press Figure 1 Dutton Dreaming of Better Times As one rides through the streets of this city as it commemorates the centennial of the birth of the “Great Helmsman,” one is struck by the number of vehicles that display a double-sided portrait of His face. O n the one side, there is the young, fresh-faced revolutionary Mao, on the other, a more benevolent and aging father figure. There is nothing added to nor subtracted from these double-sided portraits save for the compulsory beautifications made possible by the airbrush. T h e power of such a portrait, however, lies not in its physical beauty and accuracy but in the symbolic renewal it connotes. It is in the “additions” or “subtractions” in memory formation that the picture of Mao becomes less a form of remembrance than a potent and very contemporary political symbol. T h e recognition of this point leads us to a very different set of propositions to those advanced by the great sage, Confucius. How are we to account for the popularity of this double-sided portrait? Is it Party propaganda, superstition, or a faded remembrance of more stable http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions asia critique Duke University Press

Dreaming of Better Times: "Repetition with a Difference" and Community Policing in China

positions asia critique , Volume 3 (2) – Sep 1, 1995

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 1995 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-3-2-418
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

positions 3:2 0 1995by D u k e University Press Figure 1 Dutton Dreaming of Better Times As one rides through the streets of this city as it commemorates the centennial of the birth of the “Great Helmsman,” one is struck by the number of vehicles that display a double-sided portrait of His face. O n the one side, there is the young, fresh-faced revolutionary Mao, on the other, a more benevolent and aging father figure. There is nothing added to nor subtracted from these double-sided portraits save for the compulsory beautifications made possible by the airbrush. T h e power of such a portrait, however, lies not in its physical beauty and accuracy but in the symbolic renewal it connotes. It is in the “additions” or “subtractions” in memory formation that the picture of Mao becomes less a form of remembrance than a potent and very contemporary political symbol. T h e recognition of this point leads us to a very different set of propositions to those advanced by the great sage, Confucius. How are we to account for the popularity of this double-sided portrait? Is it Party propaganda, superstition, or a faded remembrance of more stable

Journal

positions asia critiqueDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1995

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