文章摘要
李志农,高云松.他者话语的反思:欧美学界关于中国海外藏人研究评析[J].民族学刊,2019,10(4):37-46, 109-111
他者话语的反思:欧美学界关于中国海外藏人研究评析
Reflections on the Discourse of the Other: An Analysis of Euro-American Scholarship on Chinese Overseas Tibetans
  
DOI:10.3969/j.issn.1674-9391.2019.04.04
中文关键词: 欧美  中国海外藏人  研究综述
英文关键词: Euro-American  Chinese overseas Tibetans  literature Review
基金项目:
作者单位
李志农 云南大学西南边疆少数民族研究中心 
高云松 云南大学民族学与社会学学院 
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中文摘要:
      “西藏问题”,尤其是中国海外藏人问题,是我国党和政府始终关切的重要问题。自1959年西藏叛乱以后,中国海外藏人问题在一些西方国家备受关注,也成为欧美学者们竞相展开调查研究的重要领域,关于这一主题的研究涉及了国际关系、人口迁移、国际援助、难民政策、身份政治、文化传播等诸多领域。本文将在对大量欧美学者的相关专著与论文进行整体把握的基础上,厘清欧美学界海外藏人研究的基本特点,对欧美学界的相关研究状况进行分析,并重点分析了欧美学者对中国海外藏人社区的实地研究,指出许多研究过分服务于政治目的,或研究中情绪色彩过重,或关注点过于集中于中国海外藏人的处境状况。因此,国内的相关研究应发挥本土优势,关注中国海外藏人生活境遇,将海外藏人研究与国内藏族研究相结合,构建起更加完整的藏族研究体系。
英文摘要:
      Since 1959, the West began to pay close attention to Chinese overseas Tibetans. Euro-American scholarly research on this group of people has developed considerably and produced a large body of literature. If we look at the range of disciplines found in the research results, they include the fields of sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science, economics, and religious studies, etc. Their research results virtually cover all aspects of the lives of the Tibetans living overseas, ranging from the larger international context to their day to day existence. From the perspective of the research topics, the Euro-American scholarship is founded on the refugee identity of the overseas Tibetans, and, as such, this scholarship is problem-oriented and tends to explore topics such as identity, adaptation, rights and interests, and health, etc. With regard to the content of the research, it provides rich documentations on the overseas Tibetans, on the one hand, describing their basic way of life, and on the other, generating a large body of material on oral history, with which the history of their “exile” is reconstructed. Judging from the research optics, most of the articles reflect the norms of Western values, and, as such, mostly discuss topics from the Western perspective of human rights. Methods-wise, these studies employ a variety of research methods, including archival, quantitative, field, and oral history research. Among these, field research is the most important, productive, and scientific method, and it provides the best tool for understanding the way of life, political practices, and cultural identities of Tibetans living outside of China. Through field research, the Euro-American scholarship on overseas Tibetans not only generates first-hand materials and a holistic understanding of the living conditions of overseas Chinese Tibetans, but it also facilitates the transition from an “imagined” Orientalized image of Tibet to a more scientific study. During their field research, the Euro-American scholars often paid close attention to the challenges faced by the overseas Tibetans, their ethnic and personal identities, adaptation, assimilation, livelihoods and development, religion and culture, etc. First, the Euro-American scholarship on the Chinese overseas Tibetan population is a kind of refugee studies, and aims to explore the difficulties, problems, and challenges faced by the overseas Tibetans, and tries to find solutions. It is only through field research that one can draw more accurate and objective conclusions. This is one of the basic directions of Euro-American scholars’ research on the Tibetan communities. Second, another important topic in the Euro-American scholarship is with regard to the ethnic and personal identities of the overseas Tibetans. Such studies focus on two main topics: the ethnic identity of the Tibetans and their identity as refugees. Third, the Tibetans living outside China are faced with the challenges of adaptation and assimilation; this provides another research focus. Fourth, even though research on livelihoods of the overseas Tibetans and their community development is not a main focus of the Euro-American scholars, nevertheless, their research has generated some important insights. Fifth, in religious and cultural studies, primarily Tibetan Buddhism, as an “imagined object” has received significant attention by the Western scholars. In the empirical studies on the livelihoods of the Tibetans living outside China, the Euro-American scholars lead the way. Their research not only exhibits a great variety in disciplinary involvement, research topics, but also in research methods. Their extensive field research especially provides a model for Chinese scholars. The Euro-American scholarship on overseas Tibetans is systematic, and demonstrates high standards in terms of its theoretical applications and empirical studies. However, we should also be aware of its problems and shortcomings. The first step for Chinese scholars to take in order to develop and expand their studies of Tibetans living outside of China is to critique and reflect upon the Euro-American scholarship. First of all, restricted by their normative Western values, many Euro-American scholars cannot maintain their objectivity, and their research often results in serving certain political agendas. Second, many Western scholars are not sufficiently critical in their use of the oral history materials of the “exiles”. As a result, their research is tainted by emotions. Third, because of “Western” interpretations of the Tibetans, Western scholars mainly focus on how to protect the rights of and provide economic and medical assistance to the Tibetan refugees. Consequently, there is a shortage of research on other important topics. The “Tibet Question”, especially the question regarding Tibetans living outside of China, is an important question with which the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government have consistently been concerned. However, regarding scholarly research, there are still many limitations found among Chinese academics, if compared with the Euro-American scholars. On the one hand, we have not systematically studied and analyzed the Euro-American scholarship on overseas Tibetans, therefore, Chinese scholars are not familiar with the latest developments of Tibetan studies abroad. As a result, faced with the dominant Euro-American discourse on Tibetan studies, which is largely informed by Western political points of view, Chinese scholars can hardly engage in a dialogue with international scholars. In addition, the depth and the breadth of Chinese scholarship on overseas Tibetans are limited. This is seen in the limited literature produced, the limited scope of research topics, and the limited understanding of the livelihoods of the overseas Tibetans. Overseas Tibetans, a special and large group, are an important force which affects changes in China’s “Tibet issue” today, and involves both internal and external factors. The linkage of the internal and external factors has significant implications on the trends of the “Tibet issue”. However, in the past, because of the influences and constrictions of a host of factors, we knew about this special group but know little about them. What we especially lack is first-hand fieldwork materials and data collected by Chinese scholars immersed in the overseas Tibetans’ communities. Without such data, and armed only with second-hand information and documentations, we are often crippled in making accurate strategic judgments and policy resolutions, and from establishing our own discourse on the “Tibet issue” in the international stage. Therefore, it is urgent for Chinese academics to focus on the livelihoods of the overseas Tibetans and develop our research on the overseas Tibetan communities. At the same time, we should also recognize that the Chinese academics have a bright future ahead in this field. This is especially the case in that Chinese scholars are uniquely positioned to conduct research objectively and holistically. Through studies of overseas Tibetans from the China perspective we can construct a conceptual and systematic discourse, as well as a theory of Tibet-related issues based on Chinese research. This will facilitate our being able to challenge the Western political forces and values, and promote dialogue and exchanges with members of the international community conducting Tibetan research on an equal footing. Finally, with the first-hand archival and fieldwork materials, our understanding of Chinese overseas Tibetans will be historical, holistic, and dynamic. This will provide basic research findings for governing and stabilizing Tibet, and dealing with the complicated internationalized “Tibet issue”.
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