Modernization and Social Development of Indigenous Peoples in Taiwan

Course Code






Course Objectives

Peoples speaking Austronesian languages in Taiwan lived independently and autonomously for thousands of years until the colonial powers landed and began the process of modernization. Modernization is a set of powerful discourses and practices integrating indigenous peoples and their lands into state politics and market economy. It is also a set of monotonous discourses and practices eliminating indigenous cultures and knowledge. Meanwhile, indigenous peoples’ continual struggles to survive their unique identities and relations to the lands are inspiring us to image the pluralistic and alternative possibilities. Aims to provide a framework understanding Taiwan indigenous peoples’ experiences of modernization, and to enhance the students’ ability to dialogue between theories and case studies, this course includes four main themes: 1) the theories of development and modernity; 2) the historical context of Taiwan indigenous peoples and modernization; 3) the indigenous struggles and testimonies; 4) the post-modern thinking and cotemporary efforts that Taiwan indigenous peoples made to seek for alternative development with culture and identity.

Course Contents

  1. Conceptualizing development and modernity
  2. Taiwan indigenous people in the process of modernization
  3. The Indigenous Struggles and testimonies
  4. Toward the post-development paradigm