Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China by Michael Dillon (review)

Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China by Michael Dillon (review) Reviews 293 Emily Wilcox Emily Wilcox is an associate professor of modern Chinese studies at the University of Michigan specializing in Chinese dance and performance. Michael Dillon. Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China. London: Reaktion Books, 2019. 254 pp. Hardcover $40.00, ISBN 978-1-78023-911-8. The diversity of China’s 55 “official” ethnic minority groups (shaoshu minzu) has been a topic of much fascination amongst western scholars since the beginning of the reform era in 1978, when social scientists and historians could resume in-depth academic studies in the PRC. However, the social histories of the peoples classified as China’s 55 ethnic minorities are by no means monolithic, nor is their relationship to the Chinese state. In Lesser Dragons, Michael Dillon demonstrates how divergent historical contexts, as well as the politics of ethnic classification in the PRC, have come to bear on contemporary ethnic minority identities and relationships with the state. Much of this complexity is a result of the PRC’s project of ethnic classification in the 1950s, during which the notion of ethnic minority groups in China was originally derived from Stalin’s categories of nationalities defined in 1913 as “a historically constituted community of people, having a common territory, a common language, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China by Michael Dillon (review)

China Review International, Volume 24 (4) – Dec 12, 2019

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

Abstract

Reviews 293 Emily Wilcox Emily Wilcox is an associate professor of modern Chinese studies at the University of Michigan specializing in Chinese dance and performance. Michael Dillon. Lesser Dragons: Minority Peoples of China. London: Reaktion Books, 2019. 254 pp. Hardcover $40.00, ISBN 978-1-78023-911-8. The diversity of China’s 55 “official” ethnic minority groups (shaoshu minzu) has been a topic of much fascination amongst western scholars since the beginning of the reform era in 1978, when social scientists and historians could resume in-depth academic studies in the PRC. However, the social histories of the peoples classified as China’s 55 ethnic minorities are by no means monolithic, nor is their relationship to the Chinese state. In Lesser Dragons, Michael Dillon demonstrates how divergent historical contexts, as well as the politics of ethnic classification in the PRC, have come to bear on contemporary ethnic minority identities and relationships with the state. Much of this complexity is a result of the PRC’s project of ethnic classification in the 1950s, during which the notion of ethnic minority groups in China was originally derived from Stalin’s categories of nationalities defined in 1913 as “a historically constituted community of people, having a common territory, a common language,

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Dec 12, 2019

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