Hybridity and Nomadology in Inner Asia

in Inner Asia
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Abstract

Identity, especially modern national identity, entails ideas of authenticity and hybridity. For much of the history of Mongolian studies, authenticity has been a staple of scholarly concern, whereas hybridity or diversity is brushed aside. This is as much an Orientalist imperative as a nationalist quest for the homogeneity of the Mongolian nation/nationality. Every country which has a substantial number of Mongols – Mongolia, China, and the Soviet Union (Russia) – has set their own separate but often mutually conflicting standard of what Mongolness means and where its boundary should lie. In this issue, we publish several important studies about Mongols in China, concerning precisely the issue of hybridity, or Mongols who possess certain qualities or attributes, which are deemed un- Mongol. It is imperative that we realise that hybridity is not only an objective reality but also a product of modernist nationalism that is predicated on such governmentalities as standardisation and categorisation.

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