Sheng Wu

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Professor Marilyn Randall


Comparative and interdisciplinary in nature, this thesis decodes the Chinese concept of plagiarism from the perspectives of China’s 5000-year-old customs, its newly adopted copyright law, and its moral tradition, under the theoretical framework of Burton M. Leiser’s philosophical interpretation of social behaviour.

Against the backdrop of globalization, this study adopts a new trans-cultural perspective to think about plagiarism in the context of a non-Western national literature and culture, in order to help break the silence in China’s study of plagiarism. It aims to break new ground in approaching the disputes around this subject ignited by some recent plagiarism cases within China which have divided Chinese society between those who defend traditional values of imitation and those who call for modernization and conformity with transnational standards, and which have provoked concerns about intellectual property rights and academic integrity both in and outside of Chinese society.



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