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Hor - a sedentarisation success for Tibetan pastoralists in Qinghai?

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Most outside observers of current development in grassland areas of China see sedentarisation policies rather sceptically. Among other issues, the accelerated planning and implementation period, the poor quality of housing and facilities at the settlement sites, the lack of alternative livelihood opportunities and the loss of nomad culture are commonly mentioned in critiques of the rapid sedentarisation that has taken place in China in the past decade. Reports in the Chinese media tend to tell a different story, celebrating sedentarisation as a welcome step towards modernity among the grassland population. This paper examines one new settlement, Hor, where in 2009 locals confirmed the positive rhetoric of the government and averred that the advantages brought by sedentarisation outweighed its negatives. More recent research shows that the situation in Hor is, in fact, more complex and the touted successes of the sedentarisation policy may not be long-lasting.
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Keywords: Tibetan pastoralists; grassland development; resettlement; sedentarisation; vocational training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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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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