This research note suggests that traditional ideals of virtue in Taiwan enable an order-making dynamic to operate in the backstage of state record-keeping processes. These virtues coordinate cooperation by policemen, civilians and politically empowered elites, simultaneously facilitating local order-maintenance and ensuring that police records serve the interests of the established political economic structure. I focus on the ways that this arrangement is grounded in the historical institution of the population registry, or hukou. I argue that Taiwan's hukou has effectively translated traditional virtues into policeable objects of modern administration: inscribed in the documentary practices of population registration, embedded in a naturalized division of social control labor, and institutionalized as collective habits of response to trouble.
- Asian modernity
- traditional virtue
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Sociology and Political Science