Principles in Xiangji Operation--Chinese Economic Ethnology


Author: Tingshuo Yang

Translated by Gary Situ

Reviewed by Rui Huang-fu, Hongfei Liu

ISBN: 978-1-84464-546-6                               

E--ISBN: 9781844645473

Hardback - 644 pages

June 2019


£98 €120 $158







This book is one of the most important works about earlier systematical theoretical analysis on economic anthropology theories in China. It is a milestone in growth process of Chinese economic anthropology. It focuses on cross-culture background, histories and spatial differences in different ethnic groups’ economic activities. In this book, the author uses the Chinese character of “xiang” to refer to the social and natural entity regulated by the system composed of non-economic restraints that impact economic activities across different ethnic regions. It attempt to reveal the essence of cross-xiang economic activities, factors that cause cross-xiang economic activities to succeed or fail, as well as the solutions to the problems encountered in cross-xiang economic activities. Whoever led the development faced the same question, i.e., the development activities were carried out in a quite different natural environment by applying the Han culture in different cultural settings. These facts have prompted special theoretical problems that are related to differences in both the natural environment and culture. Such problems cannot be solved exclusively by either economic or cultural anthropological measures, but rather by economic anthropology- an interdisciplinary subject between cultural anthropology and economics.


Chapter One   Introduction 
     I The Issue: History and Current Status
     II The Book:Purposes and Tasks
     III Means toward the Ends 
     IV Xiangji Operation: Fundamental Concepts
Chapter Two   Development (Kaifa)
     I Development: Original Meaning and Rheology
     II Traditional Modes of Development and Prior Reviews
     III Realities
Chapter Three  Culture (Section I)
     I  Culture: Essence and Structure
     II  Similarities and Differences in the Economic Life of  Human Being: An Overview
     III Barriers in the Integration of Xiangji Products
     IV Between Different Phases and Different Modes: the Meaning in Economics
Chapter Four  Culture ( Section II )
     I  Disturbing Factors Triggered by the Local Customs
     II  Reception and Application of Information
     III  Societies, Property Rights and Production Organizations
Chapter Five   Culture (Section III)
     I  Keys and Locks in Technological Promotions
     II  Ethnic Minority Education and Economy: An Interactive Relationship
     III An Invisible Network
     IV The Problem We Can Not Get Around
Chapter Six  Background
     I Similarities and Differences in the Background of Xiangji Operations: An Overview
     II Natural Backgrounds: Nature and Restraining Mechanism
     III Analysis of the Compatibility between Heterogeneous Habitats
     IV Spacial Attenuation and Investment Expansion
Chapter Seven   Capacity
     I  Components of the Economic Capacity
     II Calculation of Overall Operating Capacities
     III Restraints on Operating Capacities
Chapter Eight   Policy
I  Where the Planned Economy Succeed and Fail: An Overview
II Consequences that a Failed Planned Economy Brings to Ethnic Minority Regions
III Impacts that Current Cultural Environments Have on the Economic Development
Chapter Nine    Solutions
     I  A Review on the Ways in Search of Solutions
     II The Co-existence of Wholeness and Disequilibrium
     III The Co-existence of Exchange at Equal Values and Self-driven Optimization
Chapter Ten  Case Studies
     I A Brief Introduction of the Surveyed Objects
     II Cognitive Patterns among Ethnic Miaos
     III From Ancient to Modern Times
     IV From Modern to Contemporary Times
     V The Life Style in Shanping
Closing Notes


YANG Tingshuo (1942-  ), Chinese ecological anthropologist, economical anthropologist and historian, one of the most important promoters of Chinese Ecological Anthropology Association, who has published more than 20 monographs, 100 papers, and has finished and taken over the leading role in three National Social Science Foundation of China projects, and three international funding projects. Mr. Yang’s famous representative works are An Introduction to Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, An Introduction to Ecological Anthropology, Nations & Culture & Niche, and Principles in Xiangji Operation--Chinese Economic Ethnology.

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