2010.第38卷第1期(Vol. 38 No. 1).pp. 71–94



The Identity Construction of Universities in the Chinese Mainland Under the New Regime Since 1949: A Narrative Study on Peking University

羅雲(Yun LUO)





With the transfer of state power since 1949, universities in the Chinese mainland experienced great changes, and their influences are still there. Understanding the changes of these universities during this transitional period is important in understanding the current status of today’s universities in the Chinese mainland as well as the recent reforms they have undergone. This study adopts a historical narrative method to explore the identity changes and new identity construction of universities in the Chinese mainland since the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) founded the new nation, with Peking University as a case in point. Research indicates that due to the highly centralized planned economy adopted by the new state power and the absence of market forces, the identity of universities in the beginning of the new China was constructed amid the interactive forces of state and university. Since 1949, after takeover, restructuring and other measures by the state, universities were incorporated into the existing political and ideological frameworks and joined the mainstream socialist camp. Since then, universities in the Chinese mainland became tools to serve the country, serve the people, and serve the socialist construction. Accordingly, their identity changed from old-fashioned universities to “people’s universities” laden with heavy political meanings.

Keywords: universities in the Chinese mainland; identity; Peking University; narrative