By Jenny T. Chio
Whereas the variety of household relaxation tourists has elevated dramatically in reform-era China, the chronic hole among city and rural residing criteria attests to ongoing social, fiscal, and political inequalities. The nation has commonly touted tourism for its capability to carry wealth and modernity to rural ethnic minority groups, however the guidelines underlying the advance of tourism vague a few advanced realities. In tourism, in the end, one person’s rest is one other person’s labor.
A panorama of Travel investigates the contested meanings and unintentional effects of tourism for these humans whose lives and livelihoods are such a lot at stake in China’s rural ethnic tourism undefined: the citizens of village locations. Drawing on ethnographic study carried out in Ping’an (a Zhuang village in Guangxi) and top Jidao (a Miao village in Guizhou), Jenny Chio analyzes the myriad demanding situations and chances faced by way of villagers who're referred to as upon to do the paintings of tourism. She addresses the moving value of migration and rural mobility, the visible politics of vacationer images, and the consequences of touristic wants for “exotic distinction” on village social family. during this method, Chio illuminates the modern regimes of work and relaxation and the altering mind's eye of what it skill to be rural, ethnic, and glossy in China this present day.
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Extra resources for A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China
The seductiveness of rural ethnic villages in China is rooted in the circuits of a (trans)national nostalgia for a landscape that appears to embody, nourish, and sustain a more fundamental relationship between nature and human society. This desire for a particular form of romantic rurality drives political and social calls for international rural development, economic rationalizations of global and domestic tourism, and cultural celebrations of “national” ethnic diversity and the subsequent mainstreaming of minority identities.
Because appearances are posited as central to tourism success, the onus of visual representation falls upon village residents to look, and to appear, Introduction | ethnic and rural. In these instances, being seen is politically and materially important. As the Chinese national government attempts to stem ruralto-urban migration by promoting urban to rural tourism, it is becoming increasingly possible to literally see how the rural has been reconceived, represented, and reimaged as a desirable place for urbanites to visit and for rural villagers to stay.
Changes to the look of a particular landscape suggest major changes occurring at larger national levels (Lewis 1979, 21), and an ethnographic approach to this landscape allows for the exploration of the wholeness of a phenomenon (such as national programs for tourism development) and of particular issues of relatedness occurring within that contextual whole (such as intravillage conflicts and contests over the consequences of tourism growth). By participating in a mainstream activity such as tourism, rural ethnic minority villagers have been learning to imagine and to place themselves in the whole of China—economically, socially, and politically.
A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic China by Jenny T. Chio