Gender, Power, Space: Transnational Bodies and the Cultures of Health in Contemporary Tibet

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Stanford University, 2007 - 353 pages
This dissertation asks why the Chinese state constructs Tibetans from Central Tibet as a minority population (Chinese, shaoshu minzu, or Tibetan, mi rigs mi mang). Using theories of gender and ethnicity in conjunction with theories of the state, modernity, and transnational actors, I analyze the current situation of social and economic reform regarding women's reproductive and sexual health in Tibet. I look at governmental and non-governmental incorporation of Tibetans into development aid projects. I argue that these development projects enable political agendas of the Chinese-state that aim to bring Tibetans, as a minority population, into the national imagining of One China. Construction of ethnic populations to solidify the geopolitical boundaries of the nation-state occurs globally, and China is a good example of this practice. The negotiation and renegotiation of ethnic, cultural and territorial boundaries in overlapping spaces of habitation, language, customs, exchange, and rituals between Tibetans, Han Chinese, Hui, Weighur, Mussa, and other groups in Tibet's former capital city of Lhasa constitutes a central area of theoretical research in boundary studies, political economy, neoliberalism, and globalization.

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