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Translocal Practices on the Tibetan Plateau: Motorised Mobility of Pastoralists and Spatial Transformations

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Tibetan pastoralist communities in Amdo, the north-eastern region of the Tibetan plateau, have undergone tremendous change due to a number of state induced modernisation processes. Road infrastructure is but one development that aims to facilitate transition from subsistence to a market economy and to link remote pastoralist production into the global or regional market. This paper starts from the local perspective and examines how the expansion of road infrastructure and increased ownership of motorised vehicles has impacted on the mobility of pastoralists. It argues that motorisation and the increased availability of roads creates an interface for pastoralists through which they negotiate a newly emerging translocality. Roads are embedded into everyday movements and provide pastoralists with ways to integrate new developments into their lives.
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Keywords: development; gender; mobility; motorisation; road infrastructure; translocality

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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  • Nomadic Peoples is an international journal published by the White Horse Press for the Commission on Nomadic Peoples, International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Its primary concerns are the current circumstances of all nomadic peoples around the world and their prospects. Its readership includes all those interested in nomadic peoples, scholars, researchers, planners and project administrators.
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