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More than a category: Han supremacism on the Chinese internet

journal contribution
posted on 26.11.2020, 03:38 by James LeiboldJames Leibold
Using the October 2008 slapping incident of historian Yan Chongnian as a case study, this article attempts to contextualize and critically examine the articulation of Han supremacism on the Chinese internet. It demonstrates how an informal group of non-elite, urban youth are mobilizing the ancient Han ethnonym to challenge the Chinese Communist Party's official policy of multiculturalism, while seeking to promote pride and self-identification with the Han race (han minzu ) to the exclusion of the non-Han minorities. In contrast to most of the Anglophone literature on Chinese nationalism, this article seeks to employ "Han" as a "boundary-spanner", a category that turns our analysis of Chinese national identity formation on its head, side-stepping the "usual suspects" (intellectuals, dissidents and the state itself) and the prominent role of the "foreign other" in Chinese ethnogenesis, and instead probing the unstable plurality of the self/othering process in modern China and the role of the internet in opening up new spaces for non-mainstream identity articulation. © 2010 The China Quarterly.

History

Publication Date

23/09/2010

Journal

China Quarterly

Volume

203

Issue

203

Pagination

(p. 539-559)

Publisher

CAMBRIDGE UNIV PRESS

ISSN

0305-7410

Rights Statement

The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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