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Positioning indigeneity : articulating Beinan and Han identities in a heterogeneous community in Taiwan

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Item Summary

Title: Positioning indigeneity : articulating Beinan and Han identities in a heterogeneous community in Taiwan
Authors: Huang, Li-Jen
Keywords: Han
Issue Date: May 2013
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2013]
Abstract: This dissertation addresses global, national, and local levels of indigeneity and highlights their nodes of dissension in Taiwan. First, it investigates how the development of indigenous movements and legislation worldwide has influenced indigenous movements and laws at the national level. It further traces how national legislation of indigenous rights have affected local indigenous movements and how various local indigenous subjects have responded at the international and global levels.
This dissertation draws on Stuart Hall's theoretical concepts of 'positioning' and 'articulation' (also elaborated by Jennifer Slack, Tania Li and James Clifford). I conceptualize indigeneity, tribe, and culture as social formations to avoid being tripped up by essentialist and reductionist formulations.
Ethnographically, this dissertation positions local Beinan Chulu protests in their historical contexts. I show how the protests are intertwined with the formation of Beinan ethnicity and the Chulu tribe. I adopt a macro-perspective on the politics of multiculturalism and indigeneity in discussing the controversial development of the Taiwan state. I also examine the microcosm of Beinan and Han households, their cultural and economic entanglements, and changing spatial and social meanings of the Chulu community. Mapping the details of the emerging Chulu Beinan subjectivity echoes Hall's call for an end of innocence. In Taiwan and among the Chulu, this means the end of the notion of an essential indigenous subject and the beginning of a more dialogic understanding and constructive interactions between indigenous and non-indigenous subjects.
Finally, this dissertation contends that long-term anthropological fieldwork is an important method for investigating indigenous movements. I found that long-term ethnographic fieldwork enabled me to represent the real face of Chulu's heterogenous community without keeping Chulu Beinan in an indigenous slot or sustaining a fiction of absolute oppositions between Beinan and Han.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2013.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Anthropology

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