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The Belt and Road and the Rediscovery of Reciprocity-Based Anthropology

Social Sciences in China, 2019

Vol. 40, No. 1, 2019

 

The Belt and Road and the Rediscovery of Reciprocity-Based Anthropology

(Abstract)

 

Zhao Xudong

 

Reciprocity has core significance for understanding basic human living conditions: our social nature is founded on reciprocal relations, and reciprocity strengthens the ties between people. Reciprocity-based anthropology is a kind of cultural logic, one that stresses the interaction between different groups. Fundamentally, it involves studying forms of the mutually beneficial relations involved in complementary differences. This perspective reconciles differences, creating a communicative space for diverse cultures’ coexistence, symbiosis and sharing. The various channels formed through human activity include ways in and ways out, constant incomings and outgoings, the coexistence of different cultures, ways of life and ideas, and complementarity. The launching of the Belt and Road Initiative includes channels with multiple characteristics and functions, so research on this topic involves the analysis of society and culture based on roadways rather than locations.

 

Keywords: reciprocity-based anthropology, Belt and Road, channel, cultural corridor, roadology