By Matthew Polly

Invoice Bryson meets Bruce Lee during this raucously shaggy dog story of 1 scrawny American's quest to turn into a kung fu grasp at China's mythical Shaolin Temple.

Growing up a ninety-pound weakling suffering from bullies within the schoolyards of Kansas, younger Matthew Polly dreamed of 1 day visiting to the Shaolin Temple in China to turn into the hardest fighter on the planet, like Caine in his favourite Nineteen Seventies television sequence, Kung Fu. whereas in university, Matthew made up our minds the time had come to pursue this quixotic dream ahead of it was once too overdue. a lot to the dismay of his mom and dad, he dropped out of Princeton to spend years education with the mythical sect of priests who invented kung fu and Zen Buddhism.

Expecting to discover an remoted castle populated by way of supernatural ascetics that he'd visible in numerous badly dubbed chop-socky flicks, Matthew as a substitute stumbled on a cheesy vacationer capture run through Communist occasion hacks. however the devoted priests nonetheless educated within the rigorous age-old struggling with forms—some even training the "iron kung fu" self-discipline, during which extensive education could make quite a few physique elements almost indestructible (even the crotch). As Matthew grew in his wisdom of China and kung fu ability, he may come to symbolize the Temple in problem suits and foreign competitions, and eventually the clergymen may settle for their new American begin as as regards to certainly one of their very own as any Westerner had ever become.

Laced with humor and illuminated through cultural perception, American Shaolin is an unforgettable coming-of-age story of 1 younger man's trip into the traditional artwork of kung fu—and a humorous and poignant portrait of a quickly altering China.

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Extra info for American Shaolin: Flying Kicks, Buddhist Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China

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Beck 2002; Levy & Sznaider 2006; Rueda Laffond 2011: 176). In response to the question whether there in fact can be such a thing as global or universal memory (Assmann 2010: 99), this book aims to qualify the characteristics of one particular form of transnational remembrance crossed over by a locative agenda. Global memories, Assmann and Conrad stress, are carried across national borders, not only by the media, but equally important, by individuals and groups. Hence, I am seeking out the arguably “global” or at least transnational memory of the legendary city – never experienced by its newcomers, but a living myth by which they partially come to live.

As leading anthropologists have argued, through their distinct cultural competence, practices and discourses, and their cosmopolitan uniqueness, as well as their hypermobile careers, transnational elites navigate and set in motion the social production of world city space (Hannerz 1996; Beaverstock 2001). As these groups, who circulate the global city, dock in Shanghai, they also partake in the production of its local place identity formation through performances of memory that relate to Shanghai’s mediated memories, local heritage and vernacular culture of cosmopolitanism (cf.

One way to approach this sense of an increase is thus through the concept of mediatization. Mediatization has been defined through the identification of a qualitative shift in late modern media societies where the media, media forms and mediations become increasingly important facets of society (see, for instance, Schulz 2004; Hjarvard 2008; Lundby 2009; see also an overview in Hepp 2012). According to one definition, strong mediatization occurs when previously unmediated areas are drawn into a media logic that informs these social realms in a distinctive and new way, but at the same time mediatization refers to the growing importance and independence of the media as an institution in society, with ever-enlarging clout to act, define and shape the world we live in (Hjarvard 2008).

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