Oil And Water: Being Han In Xinjiang

Paperback | June 10, 2016

byTom Cliff

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For decades, China’s Xinjiang region has been the site of clashes between long-residing Uyghur and Han settlers. Up until now, much scholarly attention has been paid to state actions and the Uyghur’s efforts to resist cultural and economic repression. This has left the other half of the puzzle—the motivations and ambitions of Han settlers themselves—sorely understudied.
 
With Oil and Water, anthropologist Tom Cliff offers the first ethnographic study of Han in Xinjiang, using in-depth vignettes, oral histories, and more than fifty original photographs to explore how and why they became the people they are now. By shifting focus to the lived experience of ordinary Han settlers, Oil and Water provides an entirely new perspective on Chinese nation building in the twenty-first century and demonstrates the vital role that Xinjiang Han play in national politics—not simply as Beijing’s pawns, but as individuals pursuing their own survival and dreams on the frontier.

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From the Publisher

For decades, China’s Xinjiang region has been the site of clashes between long-residing Uyghur and Han settlers. Up until now, much scholarly attention has been paid to state actions and the Uyghur’s efforts to resist cultural and economic repression. This has left the other half of the puzzle—the motivations and ambitions of Han settl...

Tom Cliff is an anthropologist based at the Australian National University.

other books by Tom Cliff

Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:June 10, 2016Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022636013X

ISBN - 13:9780226360133

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Constructing the Civilized City
2 The Individual, and the Era-Defining Institutions of State
3 Structured Mobility in a Neo-Danwei
4 Legends and Aspirations of the Oil Elite
5 Lives of Guanxi
6 Married to the Structure
7 The Partnership of Stability in Xinjiang
Conclusion
Bibliography Index
Photo Essay: Urban development in Korla, 2007–10
Photo Essay: Portraits of “Old Xinjiang People”

 

Editorial Reviews

"In Oil and Water, Cliff presents a new perspective on the issues in the region. Taking a job as an English teacher in a state-owned oil company in Xinjiang, Cliff analyzed the hierarchies and pressures among the Han community there. After spending several years in the dusty city of Korla, Cliff paints a fascinatingly unique and in-depth picture of life for the Han locals."