Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet


Hillman, Ben, and Lee-Anne Henfry. 2006. “Macho Minority: Masculinity and Ethnicity on the Edge of Tibet.” Modern China 32 (2): 251–72. doi:10.1177/0097700405286186.

Authors: Ben Hillman , Lee-Ann Henfry


This article explores the role of masculinity in articulating ethnic Tibetan identity in China. Based on interviews with Tibetans and Han Chinese in a Tibetan autonomous prefecture in China's southwest and on an examination of recent Chinese publications, the study explores the dialogue between Tibetans' own perceptions of their ethnic identity and public representations of that identity. While previous scholarship has highlighted the role that ethnic minorities play in constructing a Chinese national identity, the authors demonstrate that minorities, too, construct their ethnic identities in contradistinction to a majority Other. This process is integral to the production of a local knowledge and history that runs parallel to state-sponsored discourses of the nation and its composite nationalities.

Keywords: Tibet, China, ethnic minority, gender identity

Topics: Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Hierarchies Regions: Asia, East Asia Countries: China

Year: 2006

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