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Imaginary Identities and Han Nationalism: A Consideration

Imaginary Identities and Han Nationalism: A Consideration 126 China Review International: Vol. 23, No. 2, 2016 Kevin Carrico. The Great Han: Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2017. xiv, 264 pp. Paperback $29.95. ISBN 978-0-520-29550-6. This is a good book. It is bracing, informative, and lucidly written. It is also by turns (perhaps unintentionally) entertaining and tragic. In its narrative focus, Kevin Carrico takes up the vexing question of why Chinese nationalism—here understood as a form of exclusionary ethno-racial identity—commands the kind of intense loyalties and devotions it does in China today, and he explores this question anthropologically through the unlikely medium of what is called the Han Clothing Movement (hanfu yundong). This movement emerged in the early 2000s amid the chaos of consumer culture, geopolitical maneuvering, and frenetic urbanized life to advocate for a return to “Chinese tradition,” articulated by its acolytes as exclusively Han, thus purified of all so-called extraneous ethnic, racial, or foreign contribution and taint. This movement centers on reinforcing several performative-behavioral forms of Han-ness— hanyu [Han language; Mandarin]; hanzi [Han orthography; Chinese characters], and hanfu [Han Clothing], with clothing the most outwardly visible and thus most clearly marked of the three. The signifying practice http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Imaginary Identities and Han Nationalism: A Consideration

China Review International , Volume 23 (2) – May 11, 2018

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9367

Abstract

126 China Review International: Vol. 23, No. 2, 2016 Kevin Carrico. The Great Han: Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2017. xiv, 264 pp. Paperback $29.95. ISBN 978-0-520-29550-6. This is a good book. It is bracing, informative, and lucidly written. It is also by turns (perhaps unintentionally) entertaining and tragic. In its narrative focus, Kevin Carrico takes up the vexing question of why Chinese nationalism—here understood as a form of exclusionary ethno-racial identity—commands the kind of intense loyalties and devotions it does in China today, and he explores this question anthropologically through the unlikely medium of what is called the Han Clothing Movement (hanfu yundong). This movement emerged in the early 2000s amid the chaos of consumer culture, geopolitical maneuvering, and frenetic urbanized life to advocate for a return to “Chinese tradition,” articulated by its acolytes as exclusively Han, thus purified of all so-called extraneous ethnic, racial, or foreign contribution and taint. This movement centers on reinforcing several performative-behavioral forms of Han-ness— hanyu [Han language; Mandarin]; hanzi [Han orthography; Chinese characters], and hanfu [Han Clothing], with clothing the most outwardly visible and thus most clearly marked of the three. The signifying practice

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: May 11, 2018

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