Making sense of the notion of Minzu
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In this chapter the complexity of the notion of Minzu is discussed. The first section presents a brief overview of historical and scientific takes on the notion. The remainder of the chapter is based on the voices of interdisciplinary Minzu academics who help us to map out the many and varied meanings, perspectives and characteristics of Minzu. Different tensions are identified in the way these experts discuss Minzu in China. For example, while some highlight the hybridity and mélange that Minzu groups have experienced, others focus on their particularism, adopting a typical differentialist approach. Fluidity and simplexity appear to be two keywords shared by many of the experts when they characterize Minzus as trans-border/transnational. Linguistically speaking, many references to translingual phenomena are made. The central role of politics and economic development is noted in the experts’ definitions of Minzu. Trying to make sense of Minzu in this chapter allows us to show the clear links between this perspective on diversity and the very notion of interculturality.