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Article: “Drifting” in Lhasa: Cultural Encounter, Contested Modernity, and the Negotiation of Tibetanness

Title“Drifting” in Lhasa: Cultural Encounter, Contested Modernity, and the Negotiation of Tibetanness
Authors
Keywordsplace politics
Tibetanness
contact zone
difference
hybridity
Issue Date2015
Citation
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 2015, v. 105, n. 1, p. 144-161 How to Cite?
Abstract© 2015, © 2015 by Association of American Geographers.During the past decade, thousands of Han Chinese have migrated to Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to pursue a slow-paced and leisurely lifestyle in a land in which they have invested both fantasies and emotional attachment. These lifestyle migrants constitute a culturally unique group dubbed, by themselves and in folk discourse alike, “drifters in Tibet.” This group puts into question the positions and identities of the socially and economically advantaged Han, by hybridizing with and adopting what they assume to be authentic Tibetan values and worldviews. This article takes Han Chinese's “drifting in Lhasa” as a point of entry to inquiry of the ongoing negotiation of Tibetanness. Drifters mobilize Tibetanness as a repository of representational, discursive, and experiential resources to critically reflect on recent modernization and economic development in the interior of China. Yet, in embracing Tibetanness to problematize the privileged position of the Han in Tibet, the drifters have not distanced themselves from an essentialized conception of Tibetanness. They uncritically celebrate the state's economic subsidies as a means for preserving what they think of as “authentic” Tibetan lifestyles. Tibetans, on the other hand, contest the rigid binary opposition between Han developmentalism and the perceived economic inertia of Tibetans, a regime of identity regulation implicated in uneven power. In particular, Tibetans respond to the drifters’ representations by configuring alternative, but nonetheless “modernized,” conceptions of ethnicity and indigenous identity.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/238119
ISSN
2017 Impact Factor: 3.81
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 1.896
ISI Accession Number ID

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorZhu, Hong-
dc.contributor.authorQian, Junxi-
dc.date.accessioned2017-02-03T02:13:06Z-
dc.date.available2017-02-03T02:13:06Z-
dc.date.issued2015-
dc.identifier.citationAnnals of the Association of American Geographers, 2015, v. 105, n. 1, p. 144-161-
dc.identifier.issn0004-5608-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/238119-
dc.description.abstract© 2015, © 2015 by Association of American Geographers.During the past decade, thousands of Han Chinese have migrated to Lhasa, the capital city of the Tibet Autonomous Region, to pursue a slow-paced and leisurely lifestyle in a land in which they have invested both fantasies and emotional attachment. These lifestyle migrants constitute a culturally unique group dubbed, by themselves and in folk discourse alike, “drifters in Tibet.” This group puts into question the positions and identities of the socially and economically advantaged Han, by hybridizing with and adopting what they assume to be authentic Tibetan values and worldviews. This article takes Han Chinese's “drifting in Lhasa” as a point of entry to inquiry of the ongoing negotiation of Tibetanness. Drifters mobilize Tibetanness as a repository of representational, discursive, and experiential resources to critically reflect on recent modernization and economic development in the interior of China. Yet, in embracing Tibetanness to problematize the privileged position of the Han in Tibet, the drifters have not distanced themselves from an essentialized conception of Tibetanness. They uncritically celebrate the state's economic subsidies as a means for preserving what they think of as “authentic” Tibetan lifestyles. Tibetans, on the other hand, contest the rigid binary opposition between Han developmentalism and the perceived economic inertia of Tibetans, a regime of identity regulation implicated in uneven power. In particular, Tibetans respond to the drifters’ representations by configuring alternative, but nonetheless “modernized,” conceptions of ethnicity and indigenous identity.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofAnnals of the Association of American Geographers-
dc.subjectplace politics-
dc.subjectTibetanness-
dc.subjectcontact zone-
dc.subjectdifference-
dc.subjecthybridity-
dc.title“Drifting” in Lhasa: Cultural Encounter, Contested Modernity, and the Negotiation of Tibetanness-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.description.natureLink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1080/00045608.2014.962975-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-84918509855-
dc.identifier.volume105-
dc.identifier.issue1-
dc.identifier.spage144-
dc.identifier.epage161-
dc.identifier.eissn1467-8306-
dc.identifier.isiWOS:000346244200008-

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