Language, Education and Uyghur Identity in Urban Xinjiang

I want to read this book but it is not available at my library and it is way out of my price range. One day I will be rich enough to buy expensive books, but alas, today is not the day. But, if anyone was thinking of buying me presents…


As the regional lingua franca, the Uyghur language long underpinned Uyghur national identity in Xinjiang. However, since the ‘bilingual education’ policy was introduced in 2002, Chinese has been rapidly institutionalised as the sole medium of instruction in the region’s institutes of education. As a result, studies of the bilingual and indeed multi-lingual Uyghur urban youth have emerged as a major new research trend.

This book explores the relationship between language, education and identity among the urban Uyghurs of contemporary Xinjiang. It considers ways in which Uyghur urban youth identities began to evolve in response to the state imposition of ‘bilingual education’. Starting by defining the notion of ethnic identity, the book explores the processes involved in the formation and development of personal and group identities, considers why ethnic boundaries are constructed between groups, and questions how ethnic identity is expressed in social, cultural and religious practice. Against this background, contributors adopt a special focus on the relationship between language use, education and ethnic identity development.

As a study of ethnicity in China this book will be of huge interest to students and scholars of Chinese culture and society, Asian ethnicity, cultural anthropology, sociolinguistics and Asian education.


1. Language, Education, and Uyghur Identity: An Introductory Essay Joanne Smith Finley & Xiaowei Zang
2. Major Determinants of Uyghur Ethnic Consciousness in Ürümchi Xiaowei Zang
3. Between Minkaohan and Minkaomin: Discourses on “Assimilation” amongst Bilingual Urban Uyghurs David Tobin
4. The Construction of Uyghur Urban Youth Identity through Language Use Ablimit Baki Elterish
5. Second/Third Language Learning and Uyghur Identity: Language in Education for Uyghurs in Urban Xinjiang Mamtimyn Sunuodula
6. Representations of Uyghurs in Chinese History Textbooks Janina Feyel
7. Young Uyghurs’ Perceptions of Han Chinese: from Xinjiang to Inland, from State to Individual Yangbin Chen
8. Escaping “Inseparability”: How Uyghur Graduates of the “Xinjiang Class” Contest Membership in the Zhonghua Minzu & Timothy A. Grose
9. Education, Religion and Identity among Uyghur Hostesses in Ürümchi. Joanne Smith Finley


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