Publication Date: 2006-10-01
"Inspired by representations in popular culture that engender fantasies of the exotic, tourists, Western and Chinese, journey to Dali, Yunnan, in search of an imagined place where they can indulge their craving for authenticity, display their status in the present, and act out their nostalgia for the past. Based on more than a decade of ethnographic research, Beth Notar explores struggles over place as people in Dali attempt to represent their historical identity and define their future. While officials and investors have increasingly sought to shape Dali to mirror its image in popular culture, and most townspeople have welcomed reform-era construction as bringing them closer to market modernity, older villagers, who face displacement from the land, have attempted to subvert official rationale for development through rumor and ghost stories."--BOOK JACKET.