Muslim Families in Northwest China

Qing Lai, University of Michigan
Zheng Mu, University of Michigan

This paper aims to describe and explain differences in family behaviors and values between Muslim and Han Chinese in Northwest China. Based on the 2005 1% China inter-census survey, an ethnicity-specific demographic portrait is provided with a focus on family related items. More nuanced analysis is carried out through examining survey data collected in Gansu Province in 2007. The findings recognize important differences between Chinese Muslim and Han majority in both family behaviors and family-related values, with the Han family closer to the modern family model. Evidence also suggests that the differences are due to ideational rather than socioeconomic factors. Finally, qualitative interview data collected in 2008 (re-visits to a subsample of the 2007 survey respondents) are used to achieve richer interpretations of our quantitative results.

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Presented in Poster Session 1