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MPhil Thesis Presentation
Unruly Students: Examination Strikes in the Middle-to-late Qing Dynasty
This study aims to illustrate how the civil examination was embedded in the local society during the middle-late Qing dynasty through the exploration of the collective activity as the examination strike. Examination strikes, different from other collective activities in the same period of time, were organized and conducted mainly by the lower academic degree holders at the counties who did not take any official positions. I raise two questions throughout my thesis. First, why and how the participants (lower degree holders) organized such collective resistant behaviors intensively since the reign of emperor Jiaqing (r.1796-1820). Second, why these people chose to voice their opinions by practicing the examination strikes?
In order to answer the questions, I firstly introduce certain background knowledge through a depiction of the development of civil examination system and the relevant licentiates. In addition to sort out the available historical records to present an overview of the boycott activities, this thesis also tries to summarize possible shared characteristics based on critical examination towards certain cases.
Particularly, by focusing on three boycott cases in chronological order, this thesis argues that local licentiates gradually accumulated their bargain power through the participation in various local activities. Meanwhile, this thesis also probes into the interaction between the governmental officials and these degree holders through exploring similar strike cases organized in different ways and ended with different consequences.
Regarding the second question, such resistant behaviors commonly concerning the conflicts occurred during grain tax collection also manifested great value in the investigation of the possible changes and maladies in local grain markets. Furthermore, in consideration of the relationship between civil examination system and these fundamental participants, this thesis attempts to argue that rather than being regulated and driven by the system, the local licentiates actually managed to adapt and make use of it in their everyday experience.
Speaker(s) Ms. Yiqiao WANG
Date 5 Jul 2018 (Thursday)
Time 2:30 pm
Venue Room 3401, Academic Building (Lift no. 2)
Language English