Global Studies: China
(Series description) GLOBAL STUDIES is a unique series designed to provide comprehensive background information and selected world press articles on the regions and countries of the world. Each GLOBAL STUDIES volume includes an annotated listing of World Wide Web sites and is now supported by an online Instructor’s Resource Guide. —Amazon.com
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Review of Global Studies: China
Review by Dr. David Kenley
Produced by McGraw Hill, this is a series of texts designed to study particular countries and regions of the world. In the case of Asia, the following titles are available: Japan and the Pacific Rim, China, and India and South Asia. Each volume includes a country report, which introduces the reader to the history, politics, economics, society, and culture of each nation (approximately 20-50 pages long). The majority of the text, however, is reprints of short essays and articles from newspapers, magazines, and scholarly publications, such as Far Eastern Economic Review, Foreign Affairs, China Brief, and Current History.
Designed to be accessible to the average adult reader, the texts are wonderful tools for studying contemporary Asian affairs. Each article is between 2 and 10 pages in length. The articles are in no particular order, but it is relatively easy to find pairs that “speak” to each other, representing differing interpretations of the same issue. Some common topics include military and international relations, economic development, nationalism, social stability, environmentalism, and other similar current events.
High school students would find most of the articles accessible, and middle school students could certainly analyze shorter articles with some guidance. You could assign different articles to groups of students and then have them debate a particular issue. Since Global Studies releases new editions quite frequently (the China volume is in its fourteenth edition), the articles represent the latest interpretations of current events. Each paperback volume is rather affordable ($30-$40) and they are available in Kindle versions as well. Each volume includes a listing of Internet sites, an online Instructor's Resource Guide, and a quiz and discussion question bank.
Analysis of Zhiqun Zhu's Global Studies: China ~ (R. Carper)
Currently I own the 10th edition of this source & much has been updated
o Other resources often keep existing information without updating changes & instead opt for just adding a few new pages of text
Unlike the 10th edition, the articles in the back of the text include critical thinking questions for student analysis
A variety of resources within this text including maps, timelines, articles, corresponding images, and quick introductory overviews of significant statistics of each nation and demographics of its populations
It highlights the most significant information and organizes it in both a chronological and thematic fashion
It provides numerous supplemental websites in the front of the text
The resource is broken down into mainland China, Taiwan, & Hong Kong which is crucial for student understanding of the ecopolitical divisions with CHINA itself
It focuses on modern East Asia, giving only a brief overview of its origins
While some information has been updated, much of the text is identical to earlier editions (history obviously doesn’t change, but new facts are uncovered and new interpretations are developed, so more of a rewrite might benefit students, especially if they are able to compare it to previous editions)
The information is quite brief which might be good for quick overview studies of this region, but limits in-depth reading/comprehension for the average student
Although the articles are a positive overall, they are quickly outdated for future students, ultimately making this a resource that must be updated frequently and in an ever-increasing anti-education budget society, most schools will be unable to make new text purchases every time there is a new edition published
While a separate Global Studies Text is available for Japan & the Pacific Rim, I would like to see a more inclusive edition that incorporates not only China & Japan, but the Koreas and Southeast Asia as well. With an ever-increasing interdependent relationship in economic affairs as well as other policy areas, I think it’s important to emphasize a resource that is inclusive of the entire region. (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Indonesia etc)
Global Studies: CHINA 14TH edition authored by Zhiqun Zhu is an excellent class resource. That being said, I see it as a supplemental resource to a standard text for East Asian studies. I very much like the format of this resource, including its accessorial maps, statistics, websites, and articles. Furthermore, this book provides students an opportunity to establish a solid foundation of knowledge and information on China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Its comprehensive coverage of the various studies of the social sciences is very practical for developing a well-rounded understanding of the region. The fact that it sufficiently addresses the politics, economy, history, and culture of each sub-region makes it a must have for any classroom that discusses East Asia. While many resources emphasize much on a region’s past, Global Studies: CHINA pays particular attention to its future. This is crucial in encouraging critical thinking and analysis among students. It guides their ability to use their knowledge (much of which can be developed through this text) of the region to then develop an educated prediction of the region’s future and compare that to the authors. Overall I would give this resource a 4 out of 5 on the rating scale. I feel it is a great tool to include in the classroom, but it is one of several supplemental resources to be used. It is not expansive enough to stand alone as the primary resource for a class. Nevertheless it is a great resource.