Being a herder in contemporary Mongolia: Nomadic identity and nationhood building at school

Résumé : Construction of a nomadic identity in contemporary society has received increasing attention as the result of multiple challenges, including industrialisation, the formation of nation-states and a global market system. Mongolia provides an interesting case study for examination of the self-representations of nomadic peoples and their intricate relationship with national identity-building in a developing society. Based on an analysis of 28 school textbooks on social studies subjects and the narratives of herders in two regions of Mongolia (Bulgan and Bayankhongor), this study examined the interplay between the ‘Mongol malchin’ (Mongolian herder) identity and the construction of a Mongolian national identity in the state’s dominant discourse and herders’ living experiences. The study’s findings revealed how a nomadic identity is interpreted in post-socialist Mongolian society to accommodate social changes and the political agenda of building nationhood.
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Contributor : Linda Gardelle <>
Submitted on : Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 5:23:00 PM
Last modification on : Friday, December 13, 2019 - 10:42:18 AM

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Linda Gardelle, Zhenzhou Zhao. Being a herder in contemporary Mongolia: Nomadic identity and nationhood building at school. Asian Ethnicity, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2019, 20 (3), pp.364-385. ⟨10.1080/14631369.2019.1586521⟩. ⟨hal-02060937⟩

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