Empire at the Margins: culture, ethnicity, and frontier in early modern China by Helen F. Siu (Editor); Donald S. Sutton (Editor); Pamela Kyle Crossley (Editor)Focusing on the Ming (1368-1644) and (especially) the Qing (1364-1912) eras, this book analyzes crucial moments in the formation of cultural, regional, and religious identities. The contributors examine the role of the state in a variety of environments on China's "peripheries," paying attention to shifts in law, trade, social stratification, and cultural dialogue. They find that local communities were critical participants in the shaping of their own identities and consciousness as well as the character and behavior of the state. At certain times the state was institutionally definitive, but it could also be symbolic and contingent. They demonstrate how the imperial discourse is many-faceted, rather than a monolithic agent of cultural assimilation.
Ethnic Identity in China by Dru C. GladneyThis case study introduces students to the problems of ethnic diversity in China, a modern nation-state that is normally thought of and taught as culturally monolithic. By introducing students to the wide diversity of identity within one nationality, they are exposed to the ethnic complexities as well as to the larger issue of ethnic pluralism in modern nation-states. Students' perceptions regarding other societies, as well as our own, are challenged and broadened.
Familiar Strangers by Jonathan N. LipmanThe Chinese-speaking Muslims have for centuries been an inseperable but anomalous part of Chinese society--Sinophone yet incomprehensible, local yet outsiders, normal but different. Long regarded by the Chinese government as prone to violence, they have challenged fundamental Chinese conceptiosn of Self and Other and denied the totally transforming power of Chinese civilization by tenaciously maintaining connectios with Central and West Asia as well as some cultural differences from their non-Muslim neighbors. Familiar Strangers narrates a history of the Muslims of northwest China, at the intersection of the frontiers of the Mongolian-Manchu, Tibetan, Turkic, and Chinese cultural regions. Based on primary and secondary sources in a variety of languages, Familiar Strangers examines the nature of ethnicity and periphery, the role of religion and ethnicity in personal and collective decisions in violent times, and the complexity of belonging to two cultures at once. Concerning itself with a frontier very distant from the core areas of Chinese culture and very strange to most Chinese, it explores the influence of language, religion, and place on Sino-Muslim identity.
Development and Decline of Beijing's Hui Muslim Community by Zhou Chuanbin; Ma XuefengHui Muslims in China have lived with the Han Chinese for hundreds of years, maintaining their Islamic and cultural identity despite the powerful assimilation mechanisms of Chinese society. Today, however, the urban Hui community is confronted with new pressures. Zhou Chuanbin and Ma Xuefeng examine the traditional social structure and kinship network of urban Hui Muslims that historically allowed them to defend ethnic and religious boundaries. They consider the social transitions and challenges caused by revolution, modernization, urbanization, and globalization that presently threaten the cultural survival of the Hui Muslim community in Beijing.