Reconfiguring Uyghurness in multilingualism: An internal migration perspective

Xiaoyan Grace GUO, Ming Yue Michelle GU

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This qualitative inquiry investigates how the experiences of learning and using multiple languages influenced the transformation of self-perceived ethnic identities in a group of tertiary-level Uyghur minority students in the context of internal migration in China. Data analysis showed that the majority of Uyghur participants developed a greater affinity with and attachment to their ethnic group by emphasizing the language differences between Uyghur and the dominant Han in intercultural encountering. However, they gradually probed into the meaning of “being Uyghur” in the receiving community. Participants following mother tongue and Chinese educational paradigms were found to offer contrastive answers to the question “what should be the distinguishing features of being Uyghur?”. It was further found that learning English as a third language enabled participants to develop a positive personal ethnic identity by enhancing their understanding of ethnicity and its associations with its constituent elements. We conclude with suggestions for relevant stakeholders. Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2028-2047
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Volume41
Issue number11
Early online dateJul 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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internal migration
multilingualism
ethnic identity
language
mother tongue
learning
ethnic group
data analysis
ethnicity
Group
stakeholder
minority
paradigm
China
community
experience
student

Citation

Guo, X. G., & Gu, M. M. (2018). Reconfiguring Uyghurness in multilingualism: An internal migration perspective. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 41(11), 2028-2047. doi: 10.1080/01419870.2017.1343485

Keywords

  • Ethnic identity
  • Multilingualism
  • Internal migration
  • Uyghur
  • Minority students
  • China