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Party Spirit Made Flesh: the Production of Legitimacy in the Aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake

Sorace, Christian

Description

This article argues that the Party retains a tradition of seeking to revitalize its legitimacy through demonstrations of benevolence and glory. The post-2008 Sichuan earthquake provided just such an opportunity to mobilize the discourse of “Party spirit” and display the willingness of cadres to suffer and sacrifice themselves on behalf of the people. In addition to being grist for the propaganda mill, these norms and expectations were implemented in concrete policy directives and work...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorSorace, Christian
dc.date.accessioned2018-02-06T01:12:43Z
dc.date.available2018-02-06T01:12:43Z
dc.identifier.issn1324-9347
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/140385
dc.description.abstractThis article argues that the Party retains a tradition of seeking to revitalize its legitimacy through demonstrations of benevolence and glory. The post-2008 Sichuan earthquake provided just such an opportunity to mobilize the discourse of “Party spirit” and display the willingness of cadres to suffer and sacrifice themselves on behalf of the people. In addition to being grist for the propaganda mill, these norms and expectations were implemented in concrete policy directives and work pressures. Local cadres, who were also earthquake survivors, started to suffer from exhaustion, insomnia, and depression. After high-profile suicides by several local cadres, the Party adopted a therapeutic discourse in order to address the psychological needs of individual cadres, though these gentler policies seem doomed to be short-lived.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.publisherUniversity of Chicago Press
dc.rightsCopyright 2016 by The Australian National University. The publisher permission is archived in ERMS2227987
dc.sourceThe China Journal
dc.titleParty Spirit Made Flesh: the Production of Legitimacy in the Aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake
dc.typeJournal article
local.identifier.citationvolume76
dc.date.issued2016
local.identifier.ariespublicationu5557297xPUB176
local.type.statusPublished Version
local.contributor.affiliationSorace, C., The Australian National University
local.bibliographicCitation.startpage41
local.bibliographicCitation.lastpage62
local.identifier.doi10.1086/685844
dcterms.accessRightsOpen Access
CollectionsANU Research Publications

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