Nationalism and Hybridity in Mongolia

Synopsis

Uradyn Bulag presents a unique study of what it means to be Mongolian today. Mongolian nationalism, emerging from a Soviet-dominated past and facing a Chinese-threatened future, has led its adherents to stress purity in an effort to curb the outside influences on Mongolian culture and identity. This sort of nationalism views the Halh (the 'indigenous' Mongols) as 'pure' Mongols, and other Mongol groups as 'impure'. This Halh-centrism excites and exploits fears that Mongolia will be swallowed by China; it stands in opposition to pan-Mongolism, the view that links between Mongols of all kinds should be strengthened. Bulag draws on an abundance of illuminating research findings to argue that Mongols are facing a choice between a purist, racialized nationalism, inherited from Soviet discourses of nationalism, and a more open, adaptive nationalism which accepts diversity, hybridity, and multiculturalism. He calls into question the idea of Mongolia as a homogeneous place and people, and urges that unity should be sought through acknowledgement of diversity.

Additional information

Contributors:
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1998