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Tourism, Homeland, and Imaginaries: the percolating role of a Yi Jia Le family in a Sani Yi village in southwest China
October 27, 2016 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Speaker: Prof. Ge Rongling (Anthropology, Xiamen University; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair/discussant: Prof. Michael Puett (EALC, Harvard University)
Tourism has increasingly become a force that propels economic and social change in a wide range of ethnic villages in China. For the local ethnic minorities, engaging in the business of tourism means not only learning new livelihood skills but also adjusting the community’s imaginaries of their own homeland to outside tourist imaginaries. This talk will focus on a case study of Yi Jia Le, a newly emerged family-run hospitality business in Da Nuo Hei, a Sani Yi village near the Stone Forest UNESCO Park in Yunnan, China, to examine its role as outside-inside imaginary circulators and percolators, and its use of a social nexus to transfer individual homeland imaginaries into shared and collective ones. One particular Yi Jia Le family and its creative off-market exchanges/transactions with other villagers will be presented to explain how the imaginary nexus expands in the community.