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Main titleAsien : the German journal on contemporary Asia / Deutsche Gesellschaft für Asienkunde e. V., DGA, German Association for Asian Studies
129 (2013) Strategies of Social Support and Community Cohesion in Rural Xinjiang
AuthorBellér-Hann, Ildikó
PublishedHeidelberg ; Berlin, 2013
KeywordsUiguren / Agrargesellschaft / Gruppenkohäsion
Electronic Edition
Halle (Saale) : Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Sachsen-Anhalt, 2018
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Situated in China’s northwest the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has often been characterized as one of China’s most notorious “restive” areas. Scholarly enquiries to date have therefore often focused on issues of ethnicity identity and conflict demonstrating how the center attempts to control its troubled periphery. In contrast this paper focuses on the everyday strategies that Uyghur villagers in the eastern oasis of Qumul have at their disposal to make ends meet and to “muddle through” as best they can under the current conditions of the “socialist market economy.” Using social support as an analytical concept around which to organize the ethnographic data the paper is a preliminary attempt to explore how in response to increased exposure to market forces — ones that have created new uncertainties and insecurities for many rural households — Uyghur villagers creatively combine old and new forms of social support drawing on the state as well as on kinship and religion to ensure social reproduction on both the household and the communal level.