Examining the impacts of ethnicity on space-time behavior: Evidence from the City of Xining, China

Yiming Tan, Mei Po Kwan, Yanwei Chai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent studies on racial or ethnic differences have moved beyond the residential neighborhood to understand segregation in terms of people's space-time behavior. In China, where the spatial distribution of ethnic minorities is quite different from Western countries, research on ethnic issues based on this new perspective to date has received far less attention than other social issues such as poverty. This study seeks to examine the effects of ethnicity on people's space-time behavior in the Chinese context. Focusing on the Hui minorities and the Han majorities in Xining, a multi-ethnic city in the western region of China, we examined the space-time patterns of daily activities of these two ethnic groups. We use geovisualization tools and statistical measures to explore the extent to which ethnicity accounts for the differences in space-time behavior between the two ethnic groups. The paper concludes that ethnic characteristics of the Hui minorities, such as gender division of domestic labor and the participation in spatially and temporally fixed daily religious activities, have led to an independent and significant influence of ethnicity on space-time behavior when compared with the Han majorities in Xining.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Activity space
  • China
  • Ethnic minority
  • Ethnicity
  • Space-time behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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