Download e-book for kindle: Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in by Thomas Mullaney, Benedict Anderson

By Thomas Mullaney, Benedict Anderson

ISBN-10: 0520262786

ISBN-13: 9780520262782

China is an unlimited kingdom composed of enormous quantities of specific 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 type undertaking (minzu shibie). Thomas S. Mullaney attracts on lately declassified fabric and huge oral histories to explain how the communist executive, in strength under a decade, introduced this method in ethnically various Yunnan. Mullaney exhibits how the govt drew on Republican-era scholarship for conceptual and methodological suggestion because it built a method for settling on minzu and the way non-Party-member chinese language ethnologists produced a "scientific" survey that may develop into the root for a coverage on nationalities.

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

Example text

89 Based on this provision, then, the Communist leadership was faced with the prospect of at least 190 national del­ egates hailing from Yunnan province alone, and at least four hundred minority del­ egates nationwide. 90 In addition to these mandated seats, as we saw, the 1953 Law made additional provisions based on proportionality, designed to insure that larger minorities would receive a level of representation reflective of their size. If we make a conservative estimate regarding the number of additional minority representatives, hypothesizing somewhere be­ tween fifty and one hundred supplemental delegates countrywide, we are left with a National People's Congress in which 40 percent of the legislative body would hail from a non-Han minority nationality-an overwhelmingly large percentage when we consider that the combined population of these minority nationalities consti­ tuted only 6 percent of the total population of China circa 1953.

This raises a second key point. Whereas current accounts of the Classification attribute the radical reduction ofethnic categories to Communist prerogative, what the follOWing chapters will demonstrate is that the remarkably synthetic catego­ rization of minorities in China was in fact the result of the influence from the Chi­ nese social sciences, espeCially ethnology and linguistics. To understand and ex­ 40 IDENTITY CRISIS IN POSTIMPERIAL CHINA plain the methodological and epistemological framework that subtended the Clas­ sification project of 1954, it is not upon the Communist state that we should train our focus, but rather upon the state's social scientific advisors.

Davies in the course of his text. splintered into twenty-two, whose boundaries could be discerned with the aid of comparative linguistics. Structurally, his taxonomy appeared as shown in table 5. By his own admission, Davies' taxonomy was based on a very limited number of factors, all of which were linguistic. "I have not as a rule;' Davies explained, "at­ tempted to give much detail about the customs and beliefs of these tribes, as it is difficult to get information of this sort of sufficient accuracy to be of value:'53 He went on to acknowledge the limits of his methodology, but nevertheless defended its legitimacy.

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Coming to Terms with the Nation: Ethnic Classification in Modern China (Asia : Local Studies Global Themes) by Thomas Mullaney, Benedict Anderson

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