Further Integration or Drifting Apart? Uncovering the Nature and Influence of the Taiwanese People’s Self-Identity under the Circumstances of the Current Cross-Strait Exchange Relationship

Since President Ma's inauguration in 2008, the number of people who recognize themselves to be Taiwanese has been on the increase, and it has become higher than it ever was during Chen Shui-bian’s administration. Some scholars have commented that “with the improvement in the cross–Strait relationship, the Taiwanese identity is in fact growing stronger.” The purpose of this article is to provide an in-depth investigation into the following questions: What is the basis of the Taiwanese people’s self-identification?

Education and Its Effects on Tong – du Inclinations

Common understanding and previous studies tend to show that nationalized curriculum and education system have a strong unifying effect on the forming of national identity. Taiwan had been under authoritarian rule with a strong emphasis on nationalistic ideology enforced from above; but nationalistic unity in Taiwan in recent years has been divisive, reflecting people's different standings on the tong-du (unification vs. independence) issue. This article explores what the relations are between education level and tong-du standings.

Liberalism, Ethnic Identity and Taiwanese Nationalism

As the authoritarian regime in Taiwan was transformed into a more democratic system, conflict over national identities has emerged as the most important social cleavage in party competition. Students of nationalism have pointed out that ethnicity lies at the core of modern nationalist movements and nationalist ideology. Nationalism is largely based on collective identity. It commands, in many cases, strong commitment from the members to the welfare of the group.

Learning To Be Taiwanese: The Paths of Forming Taiwanese Identity

Why do people need political identity, and what effect does individual learning have on forming her identity preference? Relatively little research has tried to answer these two questions. We address this issue by analyzing the relationship between individual's life cycle and identity preference change. In a formal model of Bayesian updating, we establish that the aging process and external political changes both lead the individual to the acquisition of a new identity (Taiwanese).

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