Schooling Taiwan's aboriginal baseball players for the nation

  • Yu J
  • Bairner A
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Abstract

One of the major challenges that faces nation-builders in postcolonial societies is the incorporation of subaltern groups, particularly aboriginal peoples, into a collective national project. One vehicle for addressing this challenge is sport with schools being amongst the most important venues. This article offers an empirical study of the role of aboriginal players in Taiwanese baseball. By examining the schooling and historic achievements of aboriginal players in the Nenggao and Hongye teams and the role of aboriginal players during the more recent post-martial law period, the study challenges some commonly held views concerning the relationship between baseball and Taiwanese national identity. In particular, the article analyzes the role of the state in its use of baseball to support the co-option of aboriginal players for the nation-building project. The study concludes that the state, regardless of which ruling elite is in power, has consistently manipulated Taiwan's indigenous peoples, not least through the education system, in order to achieve certain political objectives, specifically in relation to nation-building. Furthermore, although baseball remains an important avenue for the social and economic advancement of individual aborigines, recurrent scandals linked to exploitation have been consistent characteristics of state policy. ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR

Author-supplied keywords

  • Aborigines
  • Baseball
  • Identity
  • Nation-building
  • Scandals

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Authors

  • Junwei Yu

  • Alan Bairner

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