Recent anthropological analyses of Chinese attitudes towards privacy
fail to pay adequate attention to more ordinary, but more widely
shared ideas of privacy - ideas that, moreover, have changed dramatically
since the 1980s as China has become more and more open to Western
countries, cultures, and their network and computing technologies.
The author reviews these changes, in part to show how contemporary
notions of privacy in China constitute a dialectical synthesis of
both traditional Chinese emphases on the importance of the family
and the state and more Western emphases on individual rights, including
the right to privacy. This same synthesis can be seen in contemporary
Chinese law and scholarship regarding privacy.
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