Xinjiang’s Geographies in Motion

Joniak-Lüthi, A. (2015). Xinjiang’s geographies in motion. Asian Ethnicity, 16(4), 428-445. DOI: 10.1080/14631369.2014.1001162 [Link]

I thought the last anecdote was pretty interesting


Starting from the idea that places are socially constructed, this essay explores how a place is established and lived in Xinjiang by the members of the area’s two largest ethnicities, the Uyghur and the Han. This article demonstrates that there are differences in the ways Han and Uyghur imagine and ‘live’ Xinjiang.1 At the same time it asserts that Uyghur and Han do not establish distinct spatial relationships just because of their ethnicity, but also to enhance ethnic solidarity and boundaries vis-à-vis the other. This essay also demonstrates that places are historically contingent, and discusses the ways in which the influx of temporary Han migrants and settlers – and Han capital – has generated new layers of spatial meaning and new power differentials.

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