By Ralph A. Litzinger
In different Chinas Ralph A. Litzinger investigates the politics of ethnic id in postsocialist China. by way of combining leading edge examine with wide fieldwork carried out through the past due Eighties and early Nineteen Nineties in south-central and southwestern China, Litzinger presents a close ethnography of the region’s Yao inhabitants for you to query how minority teams are represented in China. particularly, he makes a speciality of how elite contributors of this minority inhabitants have represented their very own tradition, background, and identification to various chinese language and Western observers. Litzinger starts through describing how in the course of the Republican interval the Yao have been thought of a deadly those that most well liked to consort with beasts and goblins instead of take part the making of a contemporary state. He then compares this to the communist revolutionaries’ view of the Yao as amazing rebels and optimistic examples of subaltern corporation. Litzinger indicates how students, govt employees, communist social gathering officers, and Taoist ritual experts have prompted the numerous depictions of the Yao and, in doing so, he advances a brand new knowing of either the Yao and the results of legitimate discourse, written histories, kingdom coverage, and practices of minority empowerment. as well as interpreting problems with ritual perform, social order, morality, and the governance of ethnic populations, Litzinger considers the Yao’s position within the cultural reforms of the Nineteen Eighties. through distancing his learn from romanticized depictions of minorities Litzinger is ready to specialise in how minority illustration! , fight, and company have stimulated the historical past of the People’s Republic, cultural debates inside modern chinese language society, and China’s swiftly altering position within the worldwide order. This ebook may be of curiosity to Asianists in either anthropology and cultural experiences and will charm extra normally to students invested in problems with ethnic identification, minority politics, and transnationalism.
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Extra resources for Other Chinas: The Yao and the Politics of National Belonging
31 The question of how to rethink the interplay between domination and resistance is at the heart of many of these approaches to the margins. It is thus not surprising that the margins are often equated with minorities and that minorities are often romanticized as subaltern agents who know nothing but resistance. 32 My concerns, however, mostly derive from a consideration of the Yao case and the scholarship on reform-era Chinese nationalism. 34 This is no doubt because they are so strongly outnumbered (constituting a little more than percent of the total population in the early s), are typically (but certainly not always) found in strategically sensitive border provinces, and live in remote agricultural mountain environs where subsistence is a daily struggle.
6 The Party had built relations with many minority communities during the civil war with the Guomindang (the Nationalist Party headed by Chiang Kai-shek) and during the Long March of and . After , the adopted a host of new policies to continue to harness the support of minority populations. One of its ﬁrst orders of business was to put an end to long-standing modes of Han chauvinism, called da Han zhuyi, and to local forms of intraethnic exploitation. In the constitution of , for example, minorities were guaranteed rights of self-government in newly instituted autonomous regions, but not the right of secession as existed in the Soviet Union.
How to counter the Guomindang nationalists, who were approaching minorities with their own promises of liberation and their own narratives of progress and national development? Scholars of the Chinese Revolution have pointed to the emergence of a number of cultural forms that deﬁne how the approached the work of building a new nation and mobilizing the support of the people. The put into place a hierarchical Leninist organizational structure, with a strong emphasis on mass political campaigns, ideological indoctrination and conformity, public struggle sessions, and self-confessions, but it also promoted the spread of literacy and strove to put an end to prostitution.