Departmental Seminar

The Beginning of China’s Ethnicity Challenge

Asia/Hong_KongThe Beginning of China’s Ethnicity Challenge
    Asia/Hong_KongThe Beginning of China’s Ethnicity Challenge


      The Beginning of China’s Ethnicity Challenge


      Professor Biao Xiang (Visiting Professor, HKIHSS, HKU; Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oxford)


      March 23, 2016


      4:00 pm


      Room 201, 2/F, May Hall, The University of Hong Kong (Map)




      (Tel) (852) 3917-5772


      China is quietly changing its ethnicity policy. The Regional Nationality Autonomy paradigm that has defined PRC policies since 1949 is criticized for risking consolidating ethnic groups into nations, and assimilationist stance becomes increasingly popular. Instead of providing a solution, this shift could usher in the beginning of China’s ethnicity challenge — challenges from widespread, identity-based societal conflicts as opposed to the earlier political contestations about territory-based entitlements. This talk examines the current condition in relation to major historical debates since the 1910s, and especially to the changing nature of the Chinese state since the 1990s.

      About the Speaker

      Biao Xiang is a Visiting Professor at the Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Hong Kong, and Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford. He is the author of The Intermediary Trap (Princeton University Press, forthcoming); Global “Body Shopping” (Princeton University Press, 2007; winner of 2008 Anthony Leeds Prize; Chinese by Peking University Press 2012), Transcending Boundaries (Chinese by Sanlian Press, 2000; English by Brill Academic Publishers, 2005; to be reprinted as a “Chinese Sociology Classics” in 2016;) and numerous articles in both English and Chinese, including the one awarded the 2012 William L. Holland Prize for outstanding article in Pacific Affairs. A number of articles were translated into French, Spanish and Italian. He is also the lead editor of Return: Nationalizing Transnational Mobility in Asia (Duke University Press, 2013). Xiang’s article on Hong Kong is the subject of a special issue of Taiwan-based Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology (2015, 83).