Entrepreneurship and Religion
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Entrepreneurship and Religion

Edited by Léo-Paul Dana

This rich and detailed book makes a very timely contribution to extending our understanding of entrepreneurship in its social context. Using selected examples, the respected contributors show how the values developed in religious beliefs and practices shape entrepreneurship.
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Chapter 13: Xinjiang

Léo-Paul Dana


* Léo-Paul Dana INTRODUCTION This chapter, stemming from field research in China, is about small business in Xinjiang, the country’s largest administrative region. Here, the Han-Chinese are a minority, and most people are Muslims. Whereas the Han-Chinese introduced a firm-type economy to Xinjiang, the non-Han sphere of activity is concentrated in the bazaar economy. While the firmtype economy is a means to an end (monetary reward), the bazaar is an end in itself; the bazaar helps the indigenous Uygurs to preserve their cultural identity. Their bazaar is a social and cultural system. Given that these people have a Turkic culture and they speak a Turkic language, this has facilitated trade with bazaar entrepreneurs in the rapidly developing, newly independent republics of central Asia. A very rich literature has examined the Han-Chinese and their business enterprises, even outside China. Examples include a study of entrepreneurs among Han-Chinese in the State of Mississippi (Loewen, 1971); research on Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in the United States (Light, 1972); a study of self-employment among Han-Chinese in New York (Wong, 1987); a report on Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in Calgary (Ray et al., 1988); a study of Han-Chinese entrepreneurs in Canada (Brenner and Toulouse, 1990); a description of Han-Chinese in Vietnam (Dana, 1994); and an analysis of Han-Chinese entrepreneurs from Hong Kong (Dana, 1995). In contrast, less is known about non-Han business in China. While the non-Han people are a minority in China, the Han are a minority in Xinjiang. Xinjiang means ‘new frontier’ in Chinese. Most of the...

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