By Thomas Heberer

Longlisted for the 2009 ICAS publication Award

Mountainous Liangshan Prefecture, at the southern border of Sichuan Province, is considered one of China's such a lot distant areas. even if Liangshan's majority ethnic staff, the Nuosu (now labeled via the chinese language govt as a part of the Yi ethnic group), practiced a subsistence economic climate and have been, via chinese language criteria, super terrible, their conventional society was once stratified into endogamous castes, the main strong of which owned slaves. With the incorporation of Liangshan into China's new socialist society within the mid-twentieth century, the Nuosu have been required to abolish slavery and what the chinese language govt thought of to be superstitious non secular practices. whilst Han chinese language moved into the realm, competing with Nuosu for restricted assets and introducing new cultural and financial demanding situations, a few Nuosu took good thing about China's new monetary rules within the Nineteen Eighties to start inner most businesses.

In Doing enterprise in Rural China, Thomas Heberer tells the tales of person marketers and offers a wealth of monetary info gleaned from vast fieldwork in Liangshan. He records and analyzes the outstanding development over the past twenty years of Nuosu-run companies, evaluating those with Han-run companies and asking how ethnicity impacts the recent market-oriented fiscal constitution and the way economics in flip impacts Nuosu tradition and society. He unearths that Nuosu marketers have effected major switch in neighborhood fiscal buildings and social associations and feature financed significant social and financial improvement initiatives. This fiscal improvement has brought on Nuosu marketers to set up company, political, and social relationships past the conventional social confines of the extended family, whereas additionally fostering information and party of ethnicity.

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Extra resources for Doing Business in Rural China: Liangshan’s New Ethnic Entrepreneurs

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Prejudice theories maintain that the dominant ethnic majority discriminates against minorities and blocks their chances of upward social mobility, forcing members of the minority into self-employment. Culture theories emphasize a society’s cultural predispositions toward entrepreneurship; they ask, for example, whether a “merchant ideology” exists in the ethnic community and whether entrepreneurship is just a “way of making a living” or a “way of life” (Mars and Ward 1984). Context theories consider the social context and social, economic, and political institutions as crucial determinants of the development of entrepreneurship.

However, the parliaments were supposed to obtain even greater decision-making privileges, for example the power to establish local Nuosu Traditional Culture and Social Change 31 regulations and laws, as well as local development policies, or to site industrial development. 9 An existing, limited a‹rmative action policy toward non-Han ethnic groups that resulted in special laws for minorities being passed in the 1950s and in the 1980s recognizes diªerent ethnic groups’ existence, prohibits discrimination, provides aid to minority areas, guarantees special representation, allocates special benefits regarding population policy and university entrance examinations, and provides the freedom to choose an ethnic identity.

The invaders form, select, and act; the invaded people are formed, and must follow or react while under the illusion of acting or being active (Freire 1971: 178–79). The concept of a hierarchy of ethnic groups according to their historical development approves of and perpetuates inequality and state tutelage. 36 Nuosu Traditional Culture and Social Change The philosopher Michael Walzer has pointed out that the idea of a cultural hierarchy always poses a threat for the people whose culture is being devalued.

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