The National Museum of Ethnology (Minpaku) is a research center for ethnology and cultural anthropology.

The Politics of Ethnic Representation in China: An Anthropological and Historical Study of Mainland South China

Joint Research Coordinator TSUKADA Shigeyuki

Reserch Theme List


Many ethnic groups live in China and have been represented in various media. In previous joint research we considered the process of the popularization of the concept of “ethnic group” in the periods from the end of the Qing Dynasty until the era of the Peoples Republic of China. We were able to shed light on the situation to a certain degree through numerous examples which illustrated the process for reconstruction of representational behavior of the Self and the Other and cultural identity. Building on the results of the previous research, the current research project will attempt to conduct more in-depth investigations. Specifically, we will focus on clarifying the processes whereby ethnic representation is created, reinterpreted and modified, the objects of representation, people represented, as well as the ways in which people interrelate with those who in one form or another are involved with policies, including those in power. From the time of the Qing Dynasty until today, in Chinese society there have been especially deep ties between ethnic representation and the political intentions of the state and the people. This joint research will examine both the Han majority and non-Han minority ethnic groups, as well as marginalized ethnic subgroups. The research also seeks to incorporate anthropological and historical viewpoints to implement a multifaceted investigation of the correlations among multiple subjects in terms of ethnic representation.