Everyone, in the course of their life, must face a range of problems associated with separation and, by extension, its corolly reunion. Major life-cycle rituals - such as weddings and funerals - have these two issues at their core in all societies. However, in the case of China, the rituals and practices associated with separation and reunion seem especially elaborate, becoming crucial cultural elements which form part of the country's tradition. Chinese idioms and practices of separation are highly relevant to the experiences of ordinary people in many social domains, ranging from gender and kinship, to religion, to the politics of ethnic identity. The contributors address distinct yet closely interrelated topics including: * separation laments sung by women at marriages and funerals* popular stories about gods who must leave their families in order to achieve recognition* attempts of the ghostly deal to make connection with the living* dislocations from ancestral lands caused by dam building projects* the role of pilgramage in the construction of identity among Chinese Muslims In dealing with the central theme of separation "Living with Separation in China" also provides a good general introduction to many of the classic debates within anthropological and historical analyses of China.

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