Date of Award

Spring 5-20-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Aseel Sawalha

Second Advisor

Caley Johnson, Ph.D.


The Chinese Communist Party enforces state stability through replacing ethnic heritage with nationalist loyalty, a unique form of cultural erasure that equates national unity with the assimilation of ethnic minorities into the Han majority. This government policy is exemplified by the variance in governmental policy concerning the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, and the Hui-minzu throughout China. Both groups share an Islamic faith and history, yet the Uyghurs incur cultural restriction and surveillance while the Hui do not. Such creates a paradox of inclusion, where the Chinese Communist Party grants the Hui larger freedoms in religious and cultural expression, while simultaneously encroaching on the linguistic preservation and heritage of the Uyghurs. The difference in governmental policy was analyzed through measures of self-identity, level of enculturation, language use, and their consequent effect on cultural restriction and socioeconomic standing. Analysis suggests that increased cultural assimilation into Han-Chinese society caused a decrease in cultural and religious restriction, indicating that the variance in political policy depended on how strongly these ethnic-minorities related to their Chinese identity. In this context, loyalty to an identity outside of Chinese nationality incurred government suspicion and cultural encroachment.