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The Xinjiang Class: Multi-ethnic Encounters in an Eastern Coastal City

  • Zhenjie Yuan (a1), Junxi Qian (a2) and Hong Zhu (a3)
  • Please note a correction has been issued for this article.

Abstract

The Xinjiang Class (Xinjiang neidi ban, or Xinjiangban) has far-reaching implications for Beijing's governance of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Existing literature has focused primarily on the Uyghur–Han dichotomy, with limited attention being paid to the actual multi-ethnic interactions that constitute the situated dynamics of policy implementation. Utilizing the notions of the space of prescription and the space of negotiation to develop an analytical framework, this paper argues that social relations in the Xinjiangban are ongoing constructions borne by everyday experiences of domination and negotiation, and that space is constitutive of this situated dynamic. Based on nearly four years of research at a Xinjiangban, we make a case for the fluidity and incoherence of the implementation of the Xinjiangban policy. Those who implement it at the school level produce a space of prescription that deploys specific spatial–temporal arrangements to manage expressions of ethnic identity. Driven by the need to achieve upward mobility, minority students are open-minded about the Han- and patriotism-centred education. However, they use innovative and improvised tactics to create spaces of negotiation to re-assert their ethnicities. In the Xinjiangban, minority students do comply with spaces of prescription, but they simultaneously keep their ethnic and religious practices alive.

内地新疆高中班 (又名新疆内高班或新疆班) 政策对中国中央政府实施对新疆各少数民族的管治具有深远的意义。现有研究主要关注 “维—汉”二元关系, 较少讨论新疆班内不同民族的互动关系及其对政策实施的影响。采用 “设定的空间” (space of prescription) 与 “协商的空间” (space of negotiation) 为理论框架, 文章认为新疆班内部的社会关系在学校日常运作中的控制和协商互动中得以不断建构。在此动态的过程中, 空间是影响新疆班社会网络建构的重要因素。基于一个为期接近 四 年的实地调研, 文章揭示了新疆班政策实施中的不稳定性和不协调性。一方面, 学校层面的政策实施者通过采用特殊的时空布局来建构 “设定的空间”, 管理学生民族认同表达的机会。另一方面, 为了获得向上的社会流动, 少数民族学生对于以爱国和汉文化为中心的教育实际持开放的态度。然而, 少数民族学生会采取多变及灵活的策略来构建 “协商的空间”, 并以此重申和维系自身民族性。总体而言, 新疆班少数民族学生确实服从 “设定的空间” 的规训, 但同时通过 “协商的空间”的建构和实践来维系其民族和宗教认同。

Copyright

Corresponding author

Email: zhuh@scnu.edu.cn (corresponding author).

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A correction has been issued for this article: