Paolo Rossi's LA FILOSOFIA. 2. La filosofia e le scienze. PDF

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The most distant populations were referred to as wai (outside), while those living closer to the center were nei (inside). The savages in the inside zone were further divided into sheng (raw, unfamiliar, uncultured) and shu (cooked, familiar, more cultured), depending on their perceived degree of integration to Han life ways, as discussed below. The “barbarians” were further divided as compass points into the Di (northern), Man (southern), Rong (western) and Yi (eastern) (Eberhard 1942; Müller 1980, 54–╉61; Heberer 1989, 17–╉18).

Decent people” consisted of landlords, farmers, craftsmen, and merchants. “Demeaned people,” on the other hand, were associated with low or despised occupations; at least some of them were former slaves (Eberhard 1962). The déclassé, though Han, were legally excluded from participation in imperial exams and were registered as distinct from decent people. 32 Regarded as improper, their ways of earning a living excluded them from Han-ness by those who had the power to claim Han-ness for themselves and were in a need of an “other” to make their claims viable.

Though de facto constructed and fragmented, it is today a primordially framed identity, just as it was in the communities that identified with it in the past. In this sense, Han-ness is both a new and an old identity. As a collective identifier, it has a long history; yet who was Han and what it meant to be Han has drastically differed from one historical frame to another, and from one location to another. Given, then, that its scope, meaning, and roles continue to shift, Han-ness is also a new and continuously reinvented identity.

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