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Seeing like a minority : political tourism and the struggle for recognition in China

Sichtbarmachung einer Minderheit : politischer Tourismus und der Kampf um Anerkennung in China
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Bulag, Uradyn E.

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Abstract This paper outlines the operation of what may be called “political tourism” in China, and analyses the role of the sensorial technology of “seeing” in the kind of narrative this tourism engenders. Beginning in 1950, the newly established People’s Republic of China launched an annual tradition of inviting non-communist elites to attend the May Day and the National Day (1 October) parades on Tiananmen Square in Beijing and in some metropolitan cities. Unlike contemporary ethnic tourism, wherein minorities and their cultures become the objects of the tourist gaze, Chinese political tourism aims at bringing minority leaders out of their putative “isolation”, treating them with hospitality, and ultimately making them “see with their own eyes” China’s “true face”.
Keywords China; minority; ethnic group; minority rights; minority policy; communist party; social recognition; policy of recognition; delegation of tasks; cultural revolution; Far East
Classification Ethnology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnosociology; Special areas of Departmental Policy
Free Keywords political tourism; struggle for recognition
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 133-158
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 41 (2012) 4
Issue topic The politics of ethnicity in China
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works