Contemporary Hakka and Min-Nan Clan/Lineage in Territorial Societies: From Family Succession to Ethnic Relations(1/2)

Project Details


For the Hakka and Min-Nan people, clan/lineage has been a meaningful social and culturalsymbol historically. With a rapidly changing contemporary society, consanguinity, kinship, andregion-oriented traditional social organizations have gradually developed different characteristicsand interaction patterns, forming a hybridity of the traditional and contemporary. Thus far, Taiwansociety has retained consanguinity and region-oriented traditional clan/lineage and has deepinteraction with territorial society. Concurrently, surname-based clan associations that extendbeyond consanguinity, region, or ethnicity have developed, becoming a diffusive movement thatexhibits cross-regional, national, Asian, or global connections. To understand the modernity ofclan/lineage organizations, this study examined ethnic relations and the ethnic identity ofclan/lineage from internal characteristics to the external family succession. In addition, this studyinvestigated the four social developments that enable territorial societies to develop globalconnections and diffusion.Because of differences in clan/lineage type and size and different urban and rural distributions,this study followed two territorial societies for three years; the two societies were theTaoyuan-Hsinchu-Miaoli and the Kinmen societies. Comprehensive empirical research wasconducted on issues regarding Hakka and Min-Nan ethnic and social organizations by usingdocumentary analysis, the participant-observation method, and interviews. The study investigatedthe following four topics: (1) The present state of family succession in clans/lineages; (2)ethnic-relation interactions, maintenance, and negotiations between clans/lineages; (3) changes inethnic identity between clans/lineages because of contemporary society; (4) the transitioning ofclans/lineages from territorial social embeddedness to global connections and diffusion. The firsttopic focuses on understanding clan responses to the gender equality movement. The second topicexamines ethnic interactions and negotiations when difficulties arise as a result of the conflictsbetween clan ethnic and sense of ancestry. The third topic clarifies responses and adjustments toclan operations for representing and practicing the ethnic identity of the clan. The fourth topicanalyzes the manner in which traditional social organizations have transitioned from large-scaleterritorial societies, using rooted connection bases and network construction to develop globalconnections and extended relations. In summary, the core concern of this study was thetransitioning of traditional clan/lineage from a consanguine and region-oriented social organizationto the present society. This study thus constructed a contemporary theory of clan research byaddressing family succession, ethnic identity, and global connections while simultaneouslyanalyzing confirmation phenomenon and conceptualization phenomenon.
Effective start/end date1/01/1631/12/16

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • clan/lineage
  • ethnic relations
  • ethnic identity
  • family succession
  • global connection


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