China appears to the outsiders as a single race country but its population is diverse. There is a large ethnic group known as the Han and a smaller population comprising of other 55 smaller ethnic groups. The smaller groups have migrated from rural to urban with their population rising more immensely than that of the Han community. This population increase has made it important for an analysis of their coexistence to be done. In this analysis we will consider stereotyping as a major factor of inter-ethnic relations (Barth, 1969, pg. 177), ethnic concept and identity (pg. 179) and cultural inequality as a source of conflict in the social relations (pg. 183).
The mingling of different groups brings about cultural, lifestyle and professional diversity. However, different groups tend to view each other differently. This perception is known as stereotype. Stereotyping can be done in a manner likely to favor another or dehumanize them. In China, Mongolian people are viewed from different perspectives by other communities depending on their culture and interests. They too have an opinion about their colleagues, for instance they see Han community as being materialistic and having no religion. The stereotyping might sometimes be used as a basis for competition between these groups.
Economic relations serve as a remedy to the negative stereotype as people are able to socialize and get fast hand information about others. Stereotype now ends at the individual level. Notably, the stereotype in most cases breaks and takes a different course. These communities eventually unite and start stereotyping those in rural areas.
Different communities feel that they have some distinct roles to play in society. Mostly, the larger group tends to take up greater positions in the fields of politics, social and economic fields. Some minority communities oppose this strategy and tend to fight for the share of the cake. In China, the Han community tends to assume a greater role in the propulsion of the economy (Barth, 1969, pg. 160). Arguably, the ethnic identity should be based on the individual’s interest but not the ethnic group if at all healthy competition is to be attained. It is important that we consider the following questions; is the individual’s level of conflict safe for the economic growth? Does the uniting of the ethnic groups fully solve the problem of stereotyping? Answering these will bring out a clearer picture of the society we would like to have in the future.
In conclusion, we have seen that stereotype is a key contributor to interethnic conflicts and cultural inequality has played a big role in endangering the Chinese culture and interests among its people. China has changed a lot due to the interaction between the ethnic groups. The roles of different communities have changed due to the unity. There has been a conflict of interest in the past between different communities but this has also gone to the individual level.