This challenging study brings together anthropology and political science to examine how ethnic minorities are constructed by the state, and how they respond to such constructions.
Disclosing endless mini negotiations between those acting in the name of the Chinese state and those carrying the images of ethnic minority, this book provides an image of the framing of ethnicity by modern state building processes. It will be of vital interest to scholars of political science, anthropology and sociology, and is essential reading to those engaged in studying Chinese society.
Table of Contents
Part I: The Ethnic Economy of Citizenship: Comparison with Aboriginal Taiwan
Part II: Ethnic Sensitivity: Contingent Identities
Part III: Ethnic Traits: after Assimilation
Part IV: Ethnic Religion: the Adaptation of Islam
Part V: Ethnic Language: Educational Practices
Part VI: Ethnic Schooling: Sluggish Enrollment
In this new work on ethnicity and identity, Chih-yu Shih, one of the most original and productive scholars writing about China, analyzes a variety of minority-group perspectives in their 'China moments' of dealing with the state ...providing new insights into what it means to be Chinese today. - Peter Van Ness, Contemporary China Centre, Australian National University
Professor Shih cites unprecedentedly rich material from a wide variety of Chinese minorities to show that people construct their ethnicities more variously than any of the usual theories would predict. The book remakes political anthropology as a kind of plate tectonics involving more collisions, subductions, withdrawals and contingencies than most accounts of ethnicities admit. Shih shows that such a view is needed to describe the nation that has become most populous. - Lynn White, Princeton University
'an important piece of work on the study of Chinese ethnicity' - Journal of Contemporary Asia