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August 10 , 2008

Ethnicity in China: A Critical Introduction


On the global stage, China is often seen to be a homogenous nation when, in fact, it is a diverse multi-ethnic society, with 55 minority nationality groups recognized by the government. Scattered across the vast landmass, ethnic minorities in China occupy a precarious place in the state, where the Confucian concept of cultural community plays down ethnicity and encourages integration of minority nationalities into the majority Han-Chinese society.

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This insightful book reveals the ethnic diversity underlying the People’s Republic of China and examines how ethnicity intersects with social and political issues through key themes such as ethnic inequality, the preservation and contribution of the rich traditions and customs of minority cultures, and the autonomy of regions such as Tibet and Xinjiang. The author investigates the important role of the state and Beijing’s assimilation stance to show how its nationality policy, driven by Confucian assimilation ideology, has dictated China’s own minority rights regime and influenced its foreign policy towards international minority rights.

This book by a distinguished scholar of ethnicity in China will be essential reading for students and scholars of race and ethnic relations, nationalism and Chinese culture and society.

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