Revitalizing Interculturality in Education : Chinese Minzu as a Companion book cover
1st Edition

Revitalizing Interculturality in Education
Chinese Minzu as a Companion

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after June 18, 2021
ISBN 9781138486867
June 18, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
144 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

China is often seen as a monolith outside its borders. However, heterogeneity and interculturality have characterized the Middle Kingdom for centuries. Today, China’s take on diversity is too easily disparaged or perceived as ambiguous – as if China was not legitimate to take part in conversations about it.

The authors wish to contribute to global discussions about interculturality in education, which have often been dominated by ‘Western’ voices, by problematizing a very specific Chinese perspective called Minzu (‘ethnic’) education. Minzu is presented as a potential companion to other forms of diversity education (multicultural, intercultural, transcultural, cross-cultural, global education). Without claiming that they have found a miraculous and one-size-fits all recipe, they argue that the lessons learnt from researching various aspects of Minzu in Chinese education can also help students, researchers, educators, and decision-makers unthink and rethink the central issue of interculturality. As such the book introduces the complexity, contradictions and benefits of Minzu while helping the reader consider how compatible and complementary it could be with discussions of interculturality in other parts of the world. The book also aims at making readers observe critically their own contexts.

This book was written with an open mind and it should be read with the same.

Table of Contents

Foreword Prof. Sude  Introduction  Making sense of the notion of Minzu  Specificities of Minzu education  Minzu inside out  Being ‘good’ at interculturality: Answers from Minzu education  Minzu as an entry into the smörgåsbord of interculturality  Conclusions – On the importance of companions, complements and alternatives in education  References  Index

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Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He specializes in intercultural education, the sociology of multiculturalism, and student and academic mobility.

Mei Yuan is an Associate Professor at the School of Education, Minzu University of China. She specializes in Minzu and intercultural education.


Dervin and Yuan’s work, Revitalizing Interculturality in Education, comes just in time! The COVID crisis has laid bare the need to fundamentally alter how we think about ‘the other,’ and indeed who ‘the other’ is. Dervin and Yuan’s work helps us to un-think and re-think what intercultural means in these historic times. Through a detailed discussion of Chinese Minzu education, they suggest the West has much to learn from the Chinese ways of discoursing about interculturality as represented by Minzu education. At a time when scholars in every academic field are rethinking some of their core assumptions, this work has the potential to turn the field of intercultural education on its head. Bravo!

Etta Kralovec, Professor, University of Arizona, USA

This book provides a fusion of perspectives from scholars of diverse cultures that enriches the discussion of intercultural education. This latest work by Dervin and Yuan is unique in utilising the focus of Minzu education which provides a flexible approach, that is simultaneously both complex and harmonious, as a perspective for informing and progressing knowledge and practice for intercultural education globally.

Karen Trimmer, Professor, School of Education, University of Southern Queensland, Australia

I congratulate Dervin and Yuan on this valuable contribution to international discussions on intercultural education. With ferocious conviction, they have managed to shed significant new light on the need to find new ‘companions’ like Minzu education in rethinking interculturality. The reader will emerge changed by it and with a broad understanding of this complex Chinese perspective.

Fengqiao Yan, Professor, School of Education, Peking University, China

To my knowledge no book has taken on Chinese contributions to interculturally in education so seriously and successfully. Adopting a balanced view of the subject matter, the authors manage to challenge, deconstruct and reconstruct a global field of research that will matter even more immensely post-COVID 19. ‘Revitalising Interculturality’ represents a new milestone in Dervin and Yuan’s already very impressive work.

Liangang Tian, General Director, Department of Education and Technology, State Ethnic Affairs Commission