By Russell Harwood
In line with ethnographic fieldwork, this situation examine examines the influence of financial improvement on ethnic minority humans dwelling alongside the upper-middle reaches of the Nu (Salween) River in Yunnan. during this hugely mountainous, carefully populated sector stay the Lisu, Nu, and Dulong (Drung) humans, who till lately lived as subsistence farmers, counting on transferring cultivation, searching, the gathering of medicinal crops from surrounding forests, and small-scale logging to maintain their family economies. China's New Socialist Countryside explores how obligatory schooling, conservation courses, migration for paintings, and the growth of social and financial infrastructure usually are not purely reworking livelihoods, but additionally intensifying the chinese language Party-state’s potential to combine ethnic minorities into its political textile and the nationwide business economic system.
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Additional info for China’s New Socialist Countryside: Modernity Arrives in the Nu River Valley
3; Blum 2001). Among the upper leadership of the CCP, it is believed that the “unhealthy mentality” of ethnic minorities is a major stumbling block to their development (Barabantseva 2008: 584). Such perceptions inform the highly paternalistic central government policies directed at ethnic minorities, which in turn perpetuate the construction of ethnic minorities as backward and unable to develop on their own accord. The growth of ethnic minority cultural tourism during the reform era has exacerbated the exoticization of ethnic minorities.
It has been a focus of intellectual and official anxiety, “appear[ing] as a tumorous mass” and “lacking a consciousness of development that the post-Mao Chinese state has been striving to foster” (Yan 2003a: 495; original emphasis). In Gongshan, official and popular discourse suggests that its rural ethnic minority population is an extreme subsection of the low-quality rural population that threatens to destabilize local and national development. Population-quality narratives feature heavily in official and popular discourse, playing a primary role in justifying government intervention in society.
The first period of fieldwork (May–August 2005) was particularly difficult, as I had few local contacts and the informants I did meet were reluctant to speak candidly about the impacts of recent development programs. In order to attain a broad overview of social and economic conditions and refine my research threads, I conducted household surveys in several villages of varying proximity to the county town. These included generic questions on income, educational attainment, agricultural output, and the impacts of the nature reserve and the SLCP.