The Salience of Sense of Community for the Chinese Nation in Practices of Ethnic Higher Education——An Ethnographic Study at G University
LIAO Yi-fan;School of Marxism, Peking University;
What kind of practices of ethnic higher education would contribute to the salience of sense of community for the Chinese nation from the perspective of the educated? Based on a 4-month ethnography, including 45 in-depth interviews, at a Chinese university, this study shows that it would help students to recognize the Chinese nation as a rich, textured whole that wins their affection if the university could promote students' understanding of their ethnic uniqueness, of differences and commonalities among ethnic groups, and of the relationship between 56 ethnic groups and the Chinese nation, with appropriate educational practices. These practices, according to the student participants, include the integrated multiethnic platform, diversified extracurricular activities, curricular inclusion, ceremonial routines for political socialization, the appraisal linked to students' personal development, and the model role played by faculty in maintaining national unity. Adhering to the ethnic work principle of “increasing commonality, respecting and tolerant differences” and guided by the theoretical framework of “the pluralistic unity of the Chinese nation, ” these institutional practices support and validate the compatibility of students' ethnic minority identities and their sense of community for the Chinese nation.