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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30530

Title: Becoming Chinese: The Construction of Language and Ethnicity in Modern China
Authors: Burnham, Sherryll
Advisor: Wu, Yiching
Department: East Asian Studies
Keywords: Chinese
constitutional law
Issue Date: 5-Dec-2011
Abstract: This thesis explores how the standardization of language in China has been as a means to unify the empire and restructure relations between citizens and the state through processes of identification. Looking in at the case of China's minzu (ethnic groups), I argue that the current trend instituted through policies at the top-level is to eliminate linguistic and cultural diversities through the promotion of Putonghua as the lingua franca and to eventually amalgamate all minzu of the multi-minzu state into a mono-minzu, Zhonghua Minzu (citizens of the Chinese nation). Beginning with an overview of the historical practices of language standardization, I show how the ideological nature of politically influenced terminologies in the Chinese language has contributed to this restructuring of identity. With identity tied closely to language, recently enacted laws in mainland China have brought the government a step closer to achieving its ultimate goal of creating a mono-minzu state.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30530
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