Cultural Production

For the Chinese in Honolulu, the Korean in Befu factories, and Okinawan in the battlefront, all of them face the problem of belongingness and identity. Racial capitalism played importatn role in the chaos of self identity, especially for the Chinese in Hawaii and Korean in Befu. Racial capitalism brought them away from their hometown to alienate them from their compatriots. What is worse, by forming strict hierachies for the expansion of capital, racial capitalism interfere them from forming new identiy. The Okinawan’s experience is more complicated than Chinese and Korean. The alienation of the Okinawa is not directly resulted from the racial capitalism. However, Japan started the Pacific war to expand its capitalism and to dominate Asia. Consequently, the discriminative treatment of Okinawans is a indirect result of capitalism. Ironically, Japan’s expansion of racial capitalism aims to colonize other nations such as Chinese and Korean. However, it finally come back to bite itself.

Cultural production, However, plays a completely opposite role to the racial capitalism. Instead of dividing and alienizaing people, Cultural production such as music and art bring people together and forms belongingness amongst a group of people. The love for the music and art is innate in human nature. Back to the paleolithic age, human beings have begun to made flute by bones or draw frescos in cave. Capitalism is the pursuit to profit. In constrast, cultureal production is a pirsuit to beauty and aesthetics, which defined its good and curing nature. I think a widely spread misunderstanding for cultural production and identity is that only the traditional art can arouse the identity of people. For example, Chinese people’s identity is related when celecrating the traditional spring festival. However, I believe mass art and popular culture is also able to form belongness and identiy. A perfect example is the Ragae music culture in Jamaica, which united the Chinese and African immigrants. This example also indicate that music, or other cultural production can at least partially cure the wound made by the racial capitalism.

I found a interesting phenomenon among the Chinese internaional students and immigrants. When they are in China, most of them do not have any feeling about Chinese culture. Some of them even thing the traditional Chinese culture is useless. However, after moving to America, most of them begin to cherish the memory of the Chinese culture, they even begin to learn Chinese art such as calligraphy. The unifying nature of cultural production can explain this. When people are away from their hometown, they require more stimulation to sustain their identity and belongingness. Therefore, cultural production played such a role.



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