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Tourism and Tibetan Culture in Transition: A Place called Shangrila
By: Ashild Kolas

Tourism and Tibetan Culture in Transition: A Place called Shangrila  By: Ashild Kolas

Our Price: $44.95
Members Price: $40.46
Author: Ashild Kolas
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9780415674904
Publication Date: 2008

Product Code: 15411

Description About the author Contents
This book explores the relationship between tourism, culture and ethnic identity in Tibet in , focusing in particular on Shangrila, a Tibetan region in Southwest China, to show how local Tibetan culture is reconstructed as a marketable commodity for tourists. It analyses the socio-economic effects of Shangrila tourism in Tibet, investigating who benefits economically, whilest also considering its political implications and the ways in which tourism might be linked to the negotiation and reassertion of ethnic identity.   It goes on to examine the spatial re-imagining provoked by the
development of tourism, and asks whether a tourist destination
inevitably becomes a pseudo-community for the visited. Can a
fictitious name, invented for the sake of tourists, still provide the
natives of a place with a sense of identity? This book argues that
conceptions of place are closely linked to notions of social identity,
and in the case of Shangrila particularly to ethnic identity. Viewing
the spatial as socially constructed, and place-making as vital to social
organisation, this is a study of how place is constructed and
contested. It describes how local villagers and monastic elites have
negotiated the areas religious geography, how agents of the Communist
state have redefined it as a minority area, and how tourism developers
are now marketing the region as Shangrila for tourist consumption. It
outlines the different place-making strategies utilised by the various
social actors, including local villagers to create the communities in
which they live, monastic elites to invent a Buddhist Tibetan realm of
religious geography, agents of the Peoples Republic of China to
define the area as part of the communist state, and tourism developers
to market the region as Shangrila for tourist consumption. Overall,
this book is an insightful account of the complex links between tourism,
culture and Tibetanethnic identity in Tibet, and will be of interest to
a wide range of disciplines including social anthropology, sociology,
human geography, tourism and development studies.

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