Oil And Water: Being Han In Xinjiang by Tom Cliff

Oil And Water: Being Han In Xinjiang

byTom Cliff

Paperback | June 10, 2016

not yet rated|write a review

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 204 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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.

About The Author

Tom Cliff is an anthropologist based at the Australian National University.
Teams That Work: The Six Characteristics of High Performing Teams
Teams That Work: The Six Characteristics of High Performing Teams

by Cliff Chirls


Available for download

Not available in stores

Details & Specs

Title:Oil And Water: Being Han In XinjiangFormat: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

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Oil And Water: Being Han In Xinjiang


Extra Content

Table of Contents

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
Bibliography Index
Photo Essay: Urban development in Korla, 2007–10
Photo Essay: Portraits of “Old Xinjiang People”


Editorial Reviews

"An intelligently written book, rich in ethnographic detail supported by in-depth knowledge of regional history, economy and politics. Though Xinjiang is where Cliff’s story takes place, the concepts with which he structures his analysis are not context-specific but link to broader debates on social and spatial mobility, the systems of organized dependence, the life of guanxi, forms of social organization, marriage economy, urbanization and more. Scholars and students interested in these questions, and those interested in the region of Xinjiang, will find Cliff’s book insightful and important."