Hybridity in Taiwan

25 May

Yet it is important to be wary of the trap of casting a particular culture and a particular history as the paradigmatic, illustrative example of the abstract quality that is currently privileged in academic discourse. Given that “cultural hybridity” appears to constitute for the current generation of scholars the object of collective desire that “cultural tradition” was for a previous one, it would be all to easy merely to celebrate Taiwan’s palpably syncretic cultures as though their hybridity were itself proof against the continuing effects of unevenly held power. One way to avoid such a trap is to demand specificity rather than generalization. One might ask: Which people in Taiwan, specifically, experience “in-between-ness” as productive or liberating? And for whom does it constitute, on the contrary, an unlivable condition? 

–Fran Martin, Situating Sexualities: Queer Representation in Taiwanese Fiction, Film and Public Culture (Aberdeen, HK: Hong Kong Univ. Press, 2003), 35-36.

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