The Art of Symbolic Resistance

Uyghur Identities and Uyghur-Han Relations in Contemporary Xinjiang


Against the background of the Ürümchi riots (July 2009), this book provides a longitudinal study of contemporary Uyghur identities and Uyghur-Han relations. Previous studies considered China’s Uyghurs from the perspective of the majority Han (state or people). Conversely, The Art of Symbolic Resistance considers Uyghur identities from a local perspective, based on interviews conducted with group members over nearly twenty years. Smith Finley rejects assertions that the Uyghur ethnic group is a ‘creation of the Chinese state’, suggesting that contemporary Uyghur identities involve a complex interplay between long-standing intra-group socio-cultural commonalities and a more recently evolved sense of common enmity towards the Han. This book advances the discipline in three senses: from a focus on sporadic violent opposition to one on everyday symbolic resistance; from state to ‘local’ representations; and from a conceptualisation of Uyghurs as ‘victim’ to one of ‘creative agent’.
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2 Stereotypes
Talk Breeds Conflict
Pages: 81–129
3 Making Culture Matter
Symbolic, Spatial, and Social Boundaries
Pages: 130–172
4 Illuminists
Popular Song and the Waking of the Uyghur Nation
Pages: 173–233
5 Reverts
Sources and Dynamics of Islamic Renewal
Pages: 235–293
6 Endogamists
Gender, Nation and a Selective Taboo
Pages: 294–348
7 Hybrids
Identity Negotiations among the Urban Youth
Pages: 349–407
Pages: 408–425
Pages: 426–444
Pages: 445–453
Joanne Smith Finley, Ph.D (Leeds University, 1999) is Lecturer in Chinese Studies at Newcastle University, UK. She previously co-authored an edited volume titled Situating the Uyghurs between China and Central Asia (Ashgate, 2007), and has published a wide range of articles and book chapters on the formation, transformation, hybridisation and globalisation of Uyghur identities in Xinjiang, Northwest China.
This book will interest scholars and students in Chinese Studies, Central Eurasian Studies, Central Asian Studies, Inner Asian Studies, Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Turkic/Turkish Studies and Islamic studies, their institutional libraries, and governmental / non-governmental organisations.
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