Cowboys and Cultivators: The Chinese of Inner Mongolia

Cowboys and Cultivators: The Chinese of Inner Mongolia

Cowboys and Cultivators: The Chinese of Inner Mongolia

Cowboys and Cultivators: The Chinese of Inner Mongolia

Synopsis

A book which explores the relationship between the environmental, ecological and political forces encountered by families in inner Mongolia and the means they employ to deal with these forces.

Excerpt

The data upon which this study is based were collected during two visits to Hulunbuir League (meng), in Inner Mongolia.We conducted surveys in four localities during the summer of 1988 and returned for in-depth interviews to three of those sites in the summer of 1990. Unless otherwise indicated, the quantitative data in tables and text are from our surveys. Wherever we assert a "significant" difference or relationship between variables, the reader can assume a statistical test of p=.05 or less.

The league is an administrative division corresponding to a prefecture in interior China. The next unit below the league is the qi, or banner (equivalent to a county), and below that are zhen (urban towns), and sumu or xiang (rural townships). Sumu is a Mongol term for areas that they control; xiang is used in Han areas.The unit below the sumu is a gacca, which is equivalent to a cun or village in Han areas.In general, zhen and sumu were formerly communes, and cun and gacca were brigades. The abbreviation FBIS refers to the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Information Service. A few equivalences for Chinese terms used at various points in the text may also be of use:

fen = when used as a measure of area, it is one-tenth of a mu, or 66.7 square meters; when used as a measure of money, it is one-tenth of one mao.

jin = a measure of weight equivalent to 0.5 kilograms.

Hang = a measure of weight equivalent to 50 grams.

mao = a unit of money equivalent to one-tenth of 1 RMB.

mu = a measurement of land equivalent to .0667 hectares.

RMB or renminbi = a unit of money equivalent to .172 US dollars (in December, 1992).

We wish to acknowledge the help of colleagues and students at the Institute of Sociology and Anthropology, Beijing University, and of local officials in Inner Mongolia.They generously gave their time and patience during our visits, and we could not have completed this research without their support. We are especially grateful to Professor Fei Xiaotong, whose inspiration and encouragement made our work possible, and to Professors Pan Naigu and Ma Rong, who cleared stones from the path and joined . . .

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