Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Cultural performances in the Guangxi tourism commons: A study of music, place, and ethnicity in southern China
by Turner, Jessica Anderson, Ph.D., Indiana University, 2010, 389; 3409891
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation is an ethnomusicological analysis of the production of tourism performances in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, a region known for its ethnic diversity and scenic landscape. Along with other forms of cultural expression, music of Guangxi’s ethnic minorities figure prominently into a cultural tourism package constructed to draw visitors, receive financial support, and attract the attention of cultural institutions such as UNESCO. Producers and performers carefully select music for tourism because these are the forms that are displayed in public, learned by performance students, and given social and financial support for preservation. Situated within the interdisciplinary field of ethnomusicology and based on qualitative methods of ethnographic inquiry, this dissertation presents an analysis of the ways in which social constructions of heritage, ethnicity, and place are negotiated through the production of cultural performances for tourists. It concludes that while tourism performances in Guangxi promote particular expressions of locality, they also are quite similar because producers align with other sites in a broader “tourism commons,” a shared performance repertoire and dominant discourse on tourism prevalent in Guangxi and disseminated in performances and in media such as brochures, websites, and videos. The images and rhetoric of place, ethnicity, gender, and tradition form this dominant tourism discourse and are shared across spatial and ethnic boundaries. Additionally, an examination of individual agency within these performance processes illustrates how tourism performances are situated contexts for the negotiation and public display of meaning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stone, Ruth M., Tuohy, Sue M.C.
Commitee: Bauman, Richard, Janelli, Roger L.
School: Indiana University
Department: Folklore and Ethnomusicology
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 71/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Asian Studies, Folklore, Music
Keywords: China, Ethnomusicology, Guangxi, Performance, Tourism, Zhuang
Publication Number: 3409891
ISBN: 9781124076928
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