The study of contemporary China constitutes a fascinating yet challenging area of scholarly inquiry. Recent decades have brought dramatic changes to China's economy, society and governance. Analyzing such changes in the context of multiple disciplinary perspectives offers opportunites as well as challenges for scholars in the field known as contemporary China Studies. The SAGE Handbook of Contemporary China is a two-volume exploration of the transformations of contemporary China, firmly grounded in the both disciplinary and China-specific contexts. Drawing on a range of scholarly approaches found in the social sciences and history, an international team of contributors engage with the question of what a rapidly changing China means for the broader field of contemporary China studies, and identify areas of promising future research. Part 1: Context: History, Economy, and the Environment Part 2: Economic Transformations Part 3: Politics and Government Part 4: China on the Global Stage Part 5: China's Foreign Policy Part 6: National and Nested Identities Part 7: Urbanization and Spatial Development Part 8: Poverty and Inequality Part 9: Social Change Part 10: Future Directions for Contemporary China Studies

Studying Tibetan Identity

Studying Tibetan Identity

Studying Tibetan Identity
Ben Hillman


This chapter explores the various ways in which Tibetan identity in contemporary China has been studied and understood, paying close attention to how historical circumstances and evolving trends in the social sciences have shaped different perspectives on the subject. The focus is on the available Anglophone literature, but includes references to translations of Tibetan and Chinese sources. The chapter covers debates about (i) Tibetan nationhood that emerged in the pre-People's Republic of China period and intensified following the PRC's annexation of Tibetan territories in 1949–51, (ii) the ‘mythical Tibet’ literature that accompanied the nationalist discourse, (iii) the post-colonial literature of the 1980s and 1990s that sought to demystify Tibetan identity, (iv) the post-2000s ...

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