Ethnic Identity of the Kam People in Contemporary China : Government versus Local Perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Ethnic Identity of the Kam People in Contemporary China
Government versus Local Perspectives

ISBN 9780367895808
Published July 20, 2021 by Routledge
150 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Based on three years of fieldwork in Zhanli, a remote Kam Village in Guizhou Province, Wang and Jiang explore the complex dynamics between the discursive practices of the local government and the villagers in relation to the reconstruction of Kam identity in response to social change, particularly the rise of rural tourism.

China’s profound demographic and socio-economic transformation has intensified the dominance of Han culture and language and seriously challenged the traditional cultures in ethnic minority areas. The authors draw on multiple empirical sources, including in-depth interviews with Kam villagers and local officials, field observations, media discourse, local archives and government documents. They present an engaging account of the significant compromises that government and villagers have made in relation to ethnic identity in the name of economic development, and of the tensions and struggles that characterise the ongoing process of ethnic identity reconstruction.

Students and researchers in sociolinguistics, ethnography, and discourse studies, especially those with an interest in Chinese discourse, and everyone interested in issues around ethnicity (minzu) issues in China, will find this book a valuable resource.

Table of Contents

1.Introduction 2.The Kam People in China: History and Culture 3.Zhanli Village in Guizhou 4.Local Government’s Perceptions and Practices for Ethnic Identity Reconstruction 5.Situated Encounters with the Locals 6.Typical Figures from Zhanli 7.Discussions and Conclusion

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Dr Wei Wang is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia. His research interests include discourse studies, sociolinguistics, translation studies, and language education. His recent research focuses on sociolinguistics and (critical) discourse analysis, especially contemporary Chinese discourse, and is characterised by a highly interdisciplinary approach. He is the author of multilpe books and journal articles across these subject areas.


Dr Lisong Jiang is an Associate Professor in anthropology at Southwest University, China. His academic interests include historiography, historical anthropology, and cultural anthropology. His recent research focuses on historical anthropology, especially on studies of the literary texts of Southwest China in the early Qing Dynasty. He has published extensively on ethnic studies, including a previous monograph and multiple journal articles.