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Chapter Summary

The modern Uyghur, with an official population of almost ten million, constitute the titular majority of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) of the People?s Republic of China (PRC). This is the introductory chapter of the book, which while describing normative and actual social interactions in pre-socialist times, aims at exploring those antecedents at the disposal of modern Uyghur ethnic nationalism as potential resources for self-definition. It looks at the multiplicity of collectivities to which individuals could simultaneously belong, and examines what such belonging could mean to people in specific and changing historical contexts. The book is based on historical materials related to the pre-socialist era, and discusses the demise of Yaʿqub Beg?s power and Qing restoration. The chapter also presents an overview of how other chapters of the book are organised.

Keywords: People?s Republic of China (PRC); pre-socialist era; Qing restoration; Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR); Yaʿqub Beg



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