40 China Review International: Vol. 22, No. 1, 2015 Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi. Foreword by Stevan Harrell. The Han: China's Diverse Majority. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015. xiii, 187 pp. Hardcover $50.00, isbn 978-0-295-99467-3. In contemporary China, the Han as a social category has assumed a life of its own. Villagers whom I encountered in multiethnic regions coined the phrase duoshu minzu to juxtapose the Han majority vis-à-vis the official term shaoshu minzu (minority nationalities). On occasion, the Han were directly referred to as an equivalent to the state (guojia) when government officials visited these minority villages. As Han-ness has been inscribed with so many layers of meaning, how much do we really know about the Han as a majority? How is the Han category an ethnic one, if at all? How do perceptions of the Han relate to the Chinese nationstate? And what do Han individuals think about themselves? Fully attending to the sociohistorical contingency that is at stake with these questions, Agnieszka Joniak-Lüthi offers promising answers in this concisely written book. Not only does it speak to critical studies on Chinese ethnicities, which should not be discussed separately in terms of respective minority groups, but its trenchant
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Apr 14, 2015
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