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Being Local Outsiders: a Study of Chinese Ethos in East Siberia

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This article is based on anthropological fieldwork conducted in East Siberia among local Chinese and Evenki people. Local Chinese people have a double perspective (that of locals, but at the same time that of foreigners), which helps them to establish both business and friendship relationships with Evenki, switching between flexible and long-term frames. a cybernetic approach derived from the work of Bateson enables us to analyse these relationships as manifestations of a self-regulating system of communication, and also allows us to re-examine Marshall Sahlins' concept of reciprocity.


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