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.

chapter 1|33 pages

Language education and Uyghur identity

An introduction essay
ByJoanne Smith Finley, Xiaowei Zang

chapter 2|21 pages

Major determinants of Uyghur ethnic consciousness in Ürümchi

ByXiaowei Zang

chapter 3|20 pages

Between minkaohan and minkaomin

Discourses on 'assimilation' amongst bilingual urban Uyghurs
ByDavid Tobin

chapter 4|20 pages

The construction of Uyghur urban youth identity through language use

ByAblimit Baki Elterish

chapter 5|19 pages

Second/third language learning and Uyghur identity

Language in education for Uyghurs in urban Xinjiang
ByMamtimyn Sunuodula

chapter 6|18 pages

Representations of Uyghurs in Chinese history textbooks

ByJanina Feyel

chapter 7|25 pages

Young Uyghurs' perceptions of Han Chinese

From Xinjiang to inland, from state to individual
ByYangbin Chen

chapter 8|19 pages

Escaping 'inseparability'

How Uyghur graduates of the 'Xinjiang Class' contest membership in the Zhonghua minzu
ByTimothy Grose

chapter 9|18 pages

Education, religion and identity among Uyghur hostesses in Ürümchi

ByJoanne Smith Finley

chapter |10 pages


The importance of being Uyghur
ByGardner Bovingdon