Nongjiale Tourism and Contested Space in Rural China

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Abstract

A unique form of rural tourism has been booming over the past two decades in China. This Chinese version of rural tourism, popularly called nongjiale, involves peasant families hosting urbanite guests in their farm guesthouses, providing them with rustic food and lodging that symbolize something quintessentially rural, familial, authentic, eco-friendly, healthy, and traditional. The space of nongjiale farm guesthouses provides a significant locus of rural-urban encounters, social-boundary making, and identity politics between peasant hosts and urbanite guests. Focusing on the space of nongjiale farm guesthouses, this article explores how urbanite guests and peasant hosts imagine and experience China’s countryside and how this articulates with diverse social processes, discursive systems, and material and symbolic forces in the rapidly changing field of meanings and rural-urban power relations in post-Reform China.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-548
Number of pages30
JournalModern China
Volume40
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 13 Sep 2014

Keywords

  • contested space
  • modernity
  • nongjiale tourism
  • place-making
  • rural-urban identity politics

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