1st Edition

Ethnicity and Urban Life in China A Comparative Study of Hui Muslims and Han Chinese

By Xiaowei Zang Copyright 2007
    208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    208 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This much-needed work on ethnicity in Asia offers a major sociological analysis of Hui Muslims in contemporary China. Using both qualitative and quantitative data derived from fieldwork in Lanzhou between March 2001 and July 2004, it looks at the contrast between the urban life of the Han people, the ethnic majority in the city of Lanzhou, and the Hui people, the largest ethnic minority in the city, and assesses the link between minority ethnicity and traditional behaviour in urban sociology and research on ethnic groups of China.

    In-depth interviews and survey data provides a fresh perspective to the study of ethnic behaviour in China, and offers a rich account of Hui behaviour in seven aspects of urban life: neighbouring interaction, friendship formation, network behaviour, mate selection methods, spouse choice, marital homogamy, and household structure.

    Contributing to the global discourse on Islam, religious fundamentalism and modernity, this book will be invaluable to anyone interested in Chinese society, Islam, religion, development, urban studies, anthropology and ethnicity.

    1. New Wine, Old Bottle  2. Neighbors United, Neighbors Divided  3. Sworn Brotherhood or Modern Friendship  4. A Lonely Crowd or a Network Society?  5. Finding a Mate in a Metropolis  6. Who Marries Whom?  7. 'Match Door' Marriages  8. Family Behavior  9. Ethnicity and Urban Life in China 


    Xiaowei Zang is Associate Professor in the Department of Asian and International Studies, City University of Hong Kong.

    ‘This topic has been studied primarily by anthropologists examining small populations, with little representative testing of ethnic difference by other social scientists. Xiaowei Zhang has been an important exception, studying ethnicity in relation to family and neighbourhood structures, employment, stratification and education.’ - Jonathan N. Lipman and Matthew McKeever, The China Journal, no. 60