The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan
288pp. March 2004
The Minor Arts of Daily Life: Popular Culture in Taiwan
Editor: Jordan, David K.; Morris, Andrew D.; Moskowitz, Marc L.;
The Minor Arts of Daily Life is an account of the many ways in which contemporary Taiwanese approach their ordinary existence and activities. It presents a wide range of aspects of day-to-day living to convey something of the world as experienced by the Taiwanese themselves.


Contributors: Alice Chu, Chien-Juh Gu, David K. Jordan, Paul R. Katz, Chin-Ju Lin, Andrew D. Morris, Marc L. Moskowitz, Scott Simon, Shuenn-Der Yu.

"An excellent contribution." —China Quarterly (March 2005)

"Eclectic . . . enjoyable and informative." —China Journal (53, 2005)

"This volume offers exciting and detailed accounts." —China Review International (fall 2004)

"A fascinating collection of essays about modern Taiwanese life aimed at college students." —Taipei Times (1 August 2004)

"The book conveys such a rich helping of life in Taiwan that general readers will find much to savor." —Taiwan Business Topics (March 2005)

"The book is explicitly designed for undergraduate courses, and individual chapters can easily be selected separately as course readings. . . . The book is valuable for China scholars seeking to understand Taiwan’s cultural politics, and is also interesting for those familiar with Taiwan who, however, may not be aware of the full history and meaning of many of these phenomena." —Asian Anthropology (4, 2005)

"Offers highly focused but penetrating analyses of different aspects of everyday life in Taiwan particularly that associated with the vibrant and complex popular culture of the island. . . . Each of the essays in this volume takes a specific cultural phenomenon, from baseball teams to Amway sales, as a small window into a place where people live and reveal their believable, if often flawed, humanity." —Joseph R. Allen, University of Minnesota

"A powerful, well-written, and well-designed book that addresses the hidden realities of Taiwanese life." —Murray Rubenstein, City University of New York

Editor: Jordan, David K.; Morris, Andrew D.; Moskowitz, Marc L.;
David K. Jordan is professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. Andrew D. Morris is assistant professor of history at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Marc L. Moskowitz is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of South Carolina.
Read the table of contents and/or the preface (PDF).

Part I Background

A History Troubled and Glorious
1. Taiwan’s History
An Introduction
Andrew D. Morris

Part II Religion and Ritual

The Celebration of Belief and Doubt
2. Fowl Play
Chicken-Beheading Rituals and Dispute Resolution in Taiwan
Paul R. Katz

3. Pop in Hell
Chinese Representations of Purgatory in Taiwan
David K. Jordan

Part III An Emerging Public Sphere

Saying Now What Could Not Be Said Before
4. From Hidden Kingdom to Rainbow Community
The Making of Gay and Lesbian Identity in Taiwan
Scott Simon

5. Taiwan’s Mass-Mediated Crisis Discourse
Pop Politics in an Era of Political TV Call-in Shows
Alice R. Chu

Part IV Economic Life

Money and Meaning
6. The Other Woman in Your Home
Social and Racial Discourses on "Foreign Maids" in Taiwan
Chin-ju Lin

7. Hot and Noisy
Taiwan’s Night Market Culture
Shuenn-Der Yu

8. Disciplined Bodies in Direct Selling
Amway and Alternative Economic Culture in Taiwan
Chien-Juh Gu

Part V Entertainment and the Audience

Lliving for the Moment and Moments for the Living
9. Baseball, History, the Local and the Global in Taiwan
Andrew D. Morris

10. Yang-Sucking She-Demons
Penetration, Fear of Castration, and
Other Freudian Angst in Modern Chinese Cinema
Marc L. Moskowitz


Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Glossary of Characters