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Competing Communities: Ethnic Unity and Ethnic Boundaries on China's North-West Frontier

Competing Communities: Ethnic Unity and Ethnic Boundaries on China's North-West Frontier <jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper aims to explore the interface between Benedict Anderson's (1991) imagined, conceptual communities linking people who have never met and what Vered Amit (2002) called face to face communities of groups based on social practices. Communities are imagined from above but communities also negotiate their own social and spatial boundaries, often in response to these imaginations. What is imagined can only be felt if it can be socially realised. This paper will compare findings from discourse analysis of official texts with ethnographic data collected through informal interviews with over 100 Han Chinese and Uyghurs in Urumchi, the capital city of Xinjiang. It asks how these face-to-face communities are framed by the party-state and how they understand their place within the Chinese nation themselves. Specific reference to the party's concept of <jats:italic>ethnic unity</jats:italic> will be used to explore the relationship between ethnicity and nationhood in China. This aims to contribute to our understanding of the variety of competing self-understandings in China and how national identities are formed and negotiated at a local face-to-face level.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Inner Asia Brill

Competing Communities: Ethnic Unity and Ethnic Boundaries on China's North-West Frontier

Inner Asia , Volume 13 (1): 19 – Jan 1, 2011

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1464-8172
eISSN
2210-5018
DOI
10.1163/000000011797372922
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>This paper aims to explore the interface between Benedict Anderson's (1991) imagined, conceptual communities linking people who have never met and what Vered Amit (2002) called face to face communities of groups based on social practices. Communities are imagined from above but communities also negotiate their own social and spatial boundaries, often in response to these imaginations. What is imagined can only be felt if it can be socially realised. This paper will compare findings from discourse analysis of official texts with ethnographic data collected through informal interviews with over 100 Han Chinese and Uyghurs in Urumchi, the capital city of Xinjiang. It asks how these face-to-face communities are framed by the party-state and how they understand their place within the Chinese nation themselves. Specific reference to the party's concept of <jats:italic>ethnic unity</jats:italic> will be used to explore the relationship between ethnicity and nationhood in China. This aims to contribute to our understanding of the variety of competing self-understandings in China and how national identities are formed and negotiated at a local face-to-face level.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Inner AsiaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2011

Keywords: IDENTITY; COMMUNITY; NATIONALISM; CHINA; ETHNICITY; UYGHUR; HAN

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