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Empire at the MarginsCulture, Ethnicity, and Frontier in Early Modern China$
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Pamela KyleCrossley

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520230156

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520230156.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Empire at the Margins

Pamela Kyle Crossley

Helen F. Siu

Donald S. Sutton

University of California Press

Ethnicity is produced by socio-political orders that are stratified by associations of certain regions and certain cultural institutions with the “normal,” “classic,” or “formal.” The importance of being precise in the use of these terms becomes clear when one turns to the period between 1600 and 1800. The Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1636–1912) empires were profoundly different with respect to their perceived structure of national and ethnic populations. In the Ming period, a national group within the empire happened to be very clearly defined, usually by culture, but in some instances by genealogy. The Qing structure was quite different, particularly before the nineteenth century. The lingering centralities and marginalities of the Ming period remained identifiable, and many regions vigorous, beneath the formal, newly historicized hierarchies of the Qing conquest.

Keywords:   Ming empire, Qing empire, ethnicity, genealogy, cultural institutions, socio-political orders

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