Mongols From Country to City: Floating Boundaries, Pastoralism and City Life in the Mongol Lands

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edited by Ole Bruun and Li Narangoa

This volume examines the process of cultural change in Mongol societies since the early twentieth century by considering the interaction of the basic structural features of pastoral nomadism in Mongolia with larger economies, both communist and capitalist; the effect of deliberate cultural reconstruction (ranging from changes to the education system to purges and outright cultural destruction) on the conduct of the pastoral economy; and the efforts of Mongols themselves to develop aspects of their own cultural identity under conditions of territorial partition, episodes of intense political repression, and (in the Russian and Chinese regions) very substantial immigration by non-Mongol groups. In particular, this volume will examine those modernization processes entailed in urbanization, secularization, industrialization, democratization and national identity formation. A central question is to what extent these take a different shape in a pastoral society as compared to an 'ordinary’ sedentary agricultural society.

"This book is also a passionate plea for those with power in Mongolia (government and foreign donors) to take pastoralism seriously: too little attention has been paid to the support services that are necessary to make this sector viable and to assist herders who are facing extreme challenges today." - Sarah Dunlop, The China Journal

Ole Bruun is Associate Professor at Roskilde University’s Institute for Society and Globalization. Besides working on fengshui and Asian perceptions of nature in general, he is a leading scholar on Mongolian studies.

Publication year: 2006
332 pp / 234mm x 156mm
3 maps, 13 b/w pictures
ISBN: 978-87-91114-41-0, Hardback

NIAS Press