Being Uyghur or being Muslim?: Identity construction of tertiary-level Uyghur students in China

Ming Yue Michelle GU, Xiaoyan Grace GUO

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

This study explores identity construction and multilingual practices of a group of tertiary-level Uyghur students in China within their intra-national migration. Interviews and observations were conducted in three rounds of fieldwork. Findings indicate that participants experienced multiple marginalizations constituted by linguistic practices underpinned by the infiltration of neo-liberal values and practices into the spheres of education and of social reality. Participants struggled over the (re)ethnicization process and contested their disadvantageous social positions by capitalizing on a repertoire of linguistic and cultural resources. Moreover, they tried to negotiate an educated Uyghur elite identity by marking boundaries between themselves and Uyghur counterparts in less prestigious institutions. In spite of this, the minority elites faced potential challenges when translating symbolic resources into economic capital in the neo-liberal economy. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMuslim students, education and neoliberalism: Schooling a 'suspect community'
EditorsMáirtín MAC AN GHAILL, Chris HAYWOOD
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages179-198
ISBN (Electronic)9781137569219
ISBN (Print)9781137569202
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Citation

Gu, M., & Guo, X. (2017). Being Uyghur or being Muslim?: Identity construction of tertiary-level Uyghur students in China. In M. Mac an Ghaill & C. Haywood (Eds.), Muslim students, education and neoliberalism: Schooling a 'suspect community' (pp. 179-198). London: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/978-1-137-56921-9_12

Keywords

  • Minority students
  • Host society
  • Symbolic capital
  • Linguistic practice
  • Symbolic resource

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