Bland smuts och andligt förfall : Svenska Missionsförbundets Kina kring sekelskiftet 1900
Swedish Mission Covenant Church
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AbstractThe purpose with this thesis is to analyse the image of the Chinese that was constructed and maintained in the materials published in association to the Swedish Mission Covenant Church (SMF) missionary work in China between the years of 1890 to 1914. The analysed material is mainly from the periodical Missionsförbundet, the analyse also include various books, biographies and anthologies. Inspired by Michel Foucault I found my methodological starting point in his discourse term. Frome there, by the help of the texts of Torjer A. Olsen, I constructed a discourse analyses, by which I analysed my materials. The survey showed that the material associated to SMF foremost constructed a negative pictureof the Chinese as unclean, conservative, arrogant, liars, greedy, loud, bad singers and that the woman situation was seen as untenable. A more appreciative picture also emerged and the Chinese was described as polite and strong. But this image had restrictions that made the first positive impression fade away, as an example the missionaries often questioned the motive behind the Chinese friendliness and regarded it as a mean to manipulate. In common to many of the characteristics was their connection to the larger dichotomy civilisation- barbary. The missionaries did not only represent Christianity they were also, according to themselves, the represents of civilisation. And the ascribed characteristics thus took theform of contrasting pictures that portrayed the heathen barbary Chinese. I saw the comprehensive negative image as a result of the missionaries need to legitimate their activity and as aproduct of the above described thinking in dichotomy terms. The Chinese picture was not a picture of the Chinese per se, but a image of the ”Other”. The displayed characteristics is by no means restricted to only include the Chinese or to be seen asonly a historical conception, with no or little relevance to ”our” (post)modern society - look closely at the newspapers of today and you will find the same images in the reports from theso called ”developing countries”, the dirt, the mistreated woman, the greedy and corrupt leaders. What is then my point, am I saying that this picture is misleading? I lack the knowledgeto make such a claim, my intention is to attentive the genealogy of thought, to show that the free thought in some (or the most) cases are not so free. And in this lies also the thesis scientific value.