Developing Minority Nationalities in Contemporary Urban China

  • Reza Hasmath


It is not unusual for gender and ethnic studies to borrow from each other. In the previous chapter, we saw that economic reforms from the late 1970s onward have altered the relationship between state and society for women. Using Beijing as an example, Currier demonstrates urban women workers are increasingly marginalized by the state, encouraged to return to more “traditional” household roles. The growing tension between the state and ethnic minority groups is another segment of the population deserving attention. Interestingly, when it comes to ethnic minorities in China the discussion is often directed toward the country’s under-developed, bordering Western provinces, where nearly three-quarters of the 106 million ethnic minority population reside (NBS/EAC 2003). Little is written in either English or Chinese literature about the nation’s growing ethnic minority1 population in the relatively developed urban centers such as Beijing. At core, ethnic minority management in China is operated by a cocktail of central government decrees, public policy protections, and local attempts to promote ethnic minority culture such as festivals, food, sport, or dance in the mainstream. In Beijing for example, local officials have stressed a loud confidence that the municipality promotes and respects the religious affairs, education, culture, and sport of ethnic minority groups.


Ethnic Minority Ethnic Minority Group Ethnic Enclave Ethnic Minority Population National Minority 
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© Reza Hasmath and Jennifer Hsu 2009

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  • Reza Hasmath

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