Griffith Asia Institute - Research Seminars

Griffith Asia Institute - Research Seminars

Principal speaker

David Schak


Civility and its Discontents in the PRC: Tension Between Social Enclaves and Society

The government of the People's Republic of China, as Chinese governments that preceded it over at least the last millennium, has, since the 1980s, launched continual campaigns to improve the behaviour of its citizens in a variety of ways, among them creating a society in which people care about and are kind to each other. Although it is manifestly obvious that some progress has been made, it is spotty, and there is still a very long ways to go. This paper, part of a book project comparing the establishment of civility in Taiwan and the PRC for the purpose of understanding what conditions are necessary for a society to become a society with civility, will examine the PRC and evaluate the problems it faces in this establishing civility.

Dr David Schak was educated at UC-Berkeley and has an AB in Oriental Languages (1965), and an MA and PhD in Anthropology (1973). After teaching briefly in the United States, he came to Australia in 1976 and has been affiliated with Griffith University since that time. Since 1959, he has spent over 15 years in Taiwan and another three years in the PRC. He has researched and written on a variety of topics including dating as a new form of mate selection, poverty, beggars, Taiwanese business management and culture, changes in relations in the Chinese family, Chinese migration, socially engaged Buddhism's contributions to Taiwan's civil society, religion in Taiwan and the PRC, religious philanthropy, and civility.


Research Seminars are held on Thursdays at Nathan Campus, from 12:30 - 13:50 during semester. For more info please contact Belle Hammond on 07 3735 4705 or email

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RSVP on or before Monday 23 March 2015 , by email, or by phone 54705

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