|Title||‘My Dreams, My Plateau’: State Media Representations of Tibetan Entrepreneurs in the Post-2008 Era. British Association of China Studies, University of Birmingham.|
Economic development is often heralded by the Chinese state as a solution to the country’s ‘ethnic problem’. The Open Up the West Campaign, which began in 2000, is a prime example of this, seeking to enhance domestic stability and strengthen party rule through promoting economic growth across China’s western regions. The implementation of the campaign in Tibet has received notable attention across Chinese state media, particularly since the largescale unrest that erupted across the region in 2008 and the various international accusations of longstanding human rights abuses that followed. How has the state attempted to manage competing discourses about economic development in Tibet and what kinds of media strategies has it engaged to do so? Seeking to address these questions, this paper focuses on Chinese state media discourses of economic development in Tibet, with particular attention to the figure of the Tibetan entrepreneur. It examines how state media has sought to construct a new kind of Tibetan subjectivity that is grounded in diligence, self-responsibility, and individual resourcefulness, while also noting the central role of the state in facilitating entrepreneurial ‘dreams’. It analyses how such representations work to displace questions of governance and official responsibility, obscure issues of structural inequality, and reinforce Chinese state rule across Tibet in the post 2008 era. In doing so, this paper contributes to ongoing discussions surrounding the production of state power in Tibet and reflects on changing practices of ethnic representation in China today.
|Conference||British Association of Chinese Studies, Annual Conference 2021|