The Great Han (Paperback)

Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today

By Kevin Carrico

University of California Press, 9780520295506, 280pp.

Publication Date: August 22, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/22/2017)

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The Great Han is an ethnographic study of the Han Clothing Movement, a neotraditionalist and racial nationalist movement that has emerged in China since 2001. Participants come together both online and in person in cities across China to revitalize their utopian vision of the authentic “Great Han” and corresponding “real China” through pseudotraditional ethnic dress, reinvented Confucian ritual, and anti-foreign sentiment. Analyzing the movement’s ideas and practices, this book argues that the vision of a pure, perfectly ordered, ethnically homogeneous, and secure society is in fact a fantasy constructed in response to the challenging realities of the present. Yet this national imaginary is reproduced precisely through its own perpetual elusiveness. The Great Han is a pioneering analysis of Han identity, nationalism, and social movements in a rapidly changing China.

About the Author

Kevin Carrico is Lecturer in the Department of International Studies at Macquarie University and the translator of Tsering Woeser’s Tibet on Fire.

Praise For The Great Han: Race, Nationalism, and Tradition in China Today

"The Great Han uncovers uncomfortable truths around the origins, beliefs, and aims of the Han clothing movement. Through the careful interrogation of daily practices, personal histories, imaginaries, dilemmas, and desires of the movement’s participants, the book shows the continuous appeal and seductive power of ethnic identity labels."

— Pacific Affairs

"This monograph is excellent, refreshing, and thought provoking. I believe that this monograph should be of interest to interlocutors within the fields of Chinese studies, anthropology, sociology, human geography, heritage, and Asian studies more broadly."

— Anthropos