Publication Date

5-2009

Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai

Abstract

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (Santayana, 284) Although the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution ended in 1976, China still feels the effects of that ten-year time-period of social, economic, and political violence and chaos. The people are still living with the fear and pain caused by the Cultural Revolution with very little to no opportunities to heal. Through memoirs, oral and written accounts, from people who have been affected by the Cultural Revolution, I will analyze the conflict, the social affects the conflict has had on the people, and what kind of conflict transformation techniques can be used today, to help China find healing from this traumatic time period? In my paper, I will be discussing the history of the Cultural Revolution, what lead up to the event and the event itself. I will use memoirs from people who lived through the Cultural Revolution and some who are children of those who survived the Revolution. To help tell the story of the Cultural Revolution and the effects this traumatic period is still having on people today, I will use stories from my experience volunteering in China and from published memoirs. Using the historical facts and memoirs, I will then analyze the conflict. This analysis will help to gain a better understanding as to what happened and why people are still coping with the trauma. The last section of my paper will be ideas China could use to bring about healing for its people and country. For if China does not address this traumatic event in its past and help its people with healing, it has the potential to repeat the traumas experienced in the Cultural Revolution.

Disciplines

Peace and Conflict Studies | Policy History, Theory, and Methods

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