Community Cultural Wealth: Uyghurs, Social Networks, and Education

Clothey, R. A. (2016). Community cultural wealth: Uyghurs, social networks, and education. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education10(3), 127-140. Link

Abstract

This article employs Yosso’s framework of ‘community cultural wealth’ to explore the ways in which educated Uyghurs, one of China’s 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, build on social networks like family and friends to improve their own social standing and contribute to the benefit of their communities. Through Yosso’s lens, ethnic minorities have their own cultural capital, which is distinct from the dominant group, and which can also be maximized to garner a successful status within society. This study undertook to discover: (a) In what ways do Uyghurs draw from their own community resources to navigate within a Mandarin Chinese-dominant education and economic system? (b) In what ways do Uyghurs support others within their own community for success? The article is based on ethnographic fieldwork collected within Xinjiang during the fall of 2013, interviews conducted with educated Uyghurs in Xinjiang and eastern China during multiple visits between the years of 2010-2013, and an analysis of interactive Uyghur language websites during the Spring of 2014.

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