Ways of Being ETHNIC in Southwest China
Stevan Harrell, University of Washington Press, 2001, ISBN 0-295-98123-7

In any political system that involves relations among ethnic groups and/or nations, ideas of nationhood and identity maintain their salience only insofar as they are framed in categories relevant to the lives of the participants. Since ethnic groups and nations exist only insofar as people recognize their existence, their existence must be continually reinforced and restated by acts that communicate the continued salience of the categories. (p. 33)

The relevance of the Chinese case, and of southwest China in particular, for understanding ethnicity in the current historical moment lies not only in the size and ethnic diversity of China, but also in the fact that China has never succeeded in becoming a nation-state in the classical sense, but has promoted, especially since 1980, a program of rabid nationalism combined with a commitment to limited ethnic and cultural diversity. (p. 326)

Throughout China's Southwest, there are many regions where minorities and Han live in this kind of intermixed way, and there i likely to be little trouble if the government continues to pursue the present policies- it is to the advantage of members of minority groups to go along. (p. 329)

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