Tourism, Homeland, and Imaginaries: the percolating role of a Yi Jia Le family in a Sani Yi village in southwest China

Oct 27, 2016 | 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Ge Rongling (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Xiamen University; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair/discussant: Michael Puett (Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University)

Co-sponsored with the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies

Tourism has become an increasing force to propel economic and social change in a wide range of ethnic villages in China. To adopt and explore tourism business for the local minority people means not only learning new livelihood skills but also adjusting the community’s imaginaries of their own homeland to the outside tourist imaginaries. This talk shows 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 Natural Heritage Park in Yunnan, China, to examine the role of Yi Jia Le as outside-inside imaginary circulators and percolators, and its use of a social nexus to transfer personal imaginaries into shared and collective ones. One particular Yi Jia Le family and its creative off-market exchange/transaction relationships with other villagers will be presented to explain how the imaginaries expand in the community.