A Landscape of Travel: The Work of Tourism in Rural Ethnic by Jenny T. Chio

By Jenny T. Chio

Whereas the variety of family relaxation tourists has elevated dramatically in reform-era China, the continual hole among city and rural dwelling criteria attests to ongoing social, financial, and political inequalities. The country has greatly touted tourism for its strength to carry wealth and modernity to rural ethnic minority groups, however the rules underlying the advance of tourism imprecise a few complex realities. In tourism, in any case, one person’s rest is one other person’s labor.

A panorama of Travel investigates the contested meanings and unintentional outcomes of tourism for these humans whose lives and livelihoods are so much at stake in China’s rural ethnic tourism undefined: the citizens of village locations. Drawing on ethnographic learn 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 percentages faced via villagers who're known as upon to do the paintings of tourism. She addresses the moving importance of migration and rural mobility, the visible politics of vacationer images, and the consequences of touristic wishes for “exotic distinction” on village social kinfolk. during this approach, Chio illuminates the modern regimes of work and rest and the altering mind's eye of what it ability to be rural, ethnic, and glossy in China this day.

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Sample text

6 The inherent difficulty of such a project, and the complexities involved in determining a finite number of ethnicities, are visually illustrated in documentary and feature films of the 1950s and 1960s that depict ethnic minorities. In these films, ethnicity was made visually knowable and recognizable, as the country’s forward-looking development was rendered into visual narrative form. This emphasis on the visible evidence of ethnicity and modernization has left lingering traces on how tourism development in rural ethnic minority regions is expected to unfold and ultimately succeed.

Tourism is not just leisure, and travel should be engaged with as discourse, as constituent of subject formation, and as life opportunity. For village residents, tourism was merely one of many forms of mobility, and by extension possibilities, with which they lived. Thus a landscape of travel is not entirely the same as what has been called tourism landscapes by Claudio Minca and Tim Oakes (2006) or touristed landscapes by Carolyn Cartier and Alan A. Lew (2005). ’” The latter concept extends landscape to include not only tourists but also all others present at the site of tourism, but I seek here to draw attention to how 9 10 | Introduction multiple forms of mobility overlap with one another, beyond the limits of a touristed place.

Identity becomes tied up in the dual nature of tourism as an act of movement and an act of seeing, where travel and image intersect in the formation of socially recognizable subjectivities. In Ping’an and Upper Jidao, one’s cultural and social identities are molded by existing discourses and new, local ways of imagining being ethnic and being rural. Current practices and recent histories of image-making, media production, and tourist photography of ethnic minorities continue to inform and contribute to the construction of meaningful identities for these communities.

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