The Republic of China on Taiwan is the last nation in the world to be excluded from the United Nations. The world's seventeenth largest economy and Asia's most vibrant democracy, Taiwan has continually to convince the world of its historical independence from the People's Republic of China. At the same time, however, forces of history and contemporary economics make Taiwan's intimate cultural and economic ties to the mainland another crucial reality. Yet somehow under these singular conditions, the people of the island go about their daily affairs, making themselves a remarkable font of creativity and cultural innovation. The Minor Arts of Daily Life is an account of the many ways in which contemporary Taiwanese approach their ordinary existence and activities. It presents a wide range of aspects of day-to-day living to convey something of the world as experienced by the Taiwanese themselves. What does it mean to be Taiwanese? In what way does life in Taiwan impart a different view of Chinese culture? How do Taiwanese envision and participate in global culture in the twenty-first century? What issues (cultural, social, political, economic) seem to matter most? What does ""China"" mean to them today? Focusing on such broadly appealing topics as baseball, movies, gay and lesbian identity, television shows, and night markets, the contributors seek to introduce Taiwanese culture to a broad readership. In lively, non-technical prose, they approach their topics from a variety of disciplines in ways that will not only give students a comprehensive view of Taiwanese life, but also provide them with a range of theoretical perspectives with which to explore this fascinating nation.
David K. Jordan is professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego. Andrew D. Morris is assistant professor of history at the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Marc L. Moskowitz is assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lake Forest College.