Download Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in by Thomas Mullaney, Benedict Anderson PDF

By Thomas Mullaney, Benedict Anderson

China is an enormous kingdom composed of hundreds and hundreds of certain ethnic groups, every one with its personal language, historical past, and tradition. this day the govt. of China acknowledges simply fifty six ethnic nationalities, or minzu, as teams entitled to illustration. This arguable new ebook recounts the historical past of the main sweeping try and kind and categorize the nation's huge, immense inhabitants: the 1954 Ethnic class venture (minzu shibie). Thomas S. Mullaney attracts on lately declassified fabric and large oral histories to explain how the communist govt, in energy below a decade, introduced this method in ethnically varied Yunnan. Mullaney exhibits how the govt. drew on Republican-era scholarship for conceptual and methodological suggestion because it constructed a technique for deciding on minzu and the way non-Party-member chinese language ethnologists produced a "scientific" survey that will develop into the foundation for a coverage on nationalities.

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Extra info for Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (Asia : Local Studies Global Themes)

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Three days later, on the afternoon of April 29, the Classification team invited linguist Ma Xueliang (1913­ (9), also a Republican-era graduate of Peking University. Ma's lecture, entitled "The Utility of Language in the Course of Investigations:' elaborated upon Luo's point and rephrased it with even greater simplicity and precision: before conducting eth­ nological investigations in Yunnan, linguistic categorization should be carried out ti rst. Once language-based comparisons and classification had yielded the basic con­ tours of identity in the province, researchers could follow up with studies of local culture, customs, and so forth.

Three days later, on the afternoon of April 29, the Classification team invited linguist Ma Xueliang (1913­ (9), also a Republican-era graduate of Peking University. Ma's lecture, entitled "The Utility of Language in the Course of Investigations:' elaborated upon Luo's point and rephrased it with even greater simplicity and precision: before conducting eth­ nological investigations in Yunnan, linguistic categorization should be carried out ti rst. Once language-based comparisons and classification had yielded the basic con­ tours of identity in the province, researchers could follow up with studies of local culture, customs, and so forth.

Their findings would result in a complete reassessment of the country's ethnonational demography, moreover, and not simply in the development of ethno­ logical knowledge. They would influence not merely the direction of their discipline, but also China's administrative geography, the allocation of economic and political resources, and entire domains of cultural production. In this chapter we will exam­ ine how the team was able to fulfill this immense task in the time allotted. In partic­ ular, we will examine the criteria and methodology they adopted in response to the census and the chaotic and confusing body of demographic data contained therein.

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