From Community to Network: A Case Study in Rural Inner Mongolia in Modernization

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:45 AM
Room: Booth 61
Oral Presentation
Shuzhen HE , Graduate School of Information Sciences, Tohoku University, sendai, Japan
Inner Mongolia has 118.3 km2 of land, 12.3% of whole China. 70% of its area are grassland and its main industry is livestock farming. In this area where nomadism has had a history of more than 2000 years, settled breeding has arisen in 1980s, and cattle shed dairy in 2000s.

The aim of this report is to clarify, 1) how the prohibition of grazing, adopted as grassland protection policy in 2003, has changed the pastoralists’ lives and community, in other words 2) how the prohibition, that included restriction of grazing, restriction of rest grazing, and restriction of rotation grazing, divided the pastoralists’ response to the prohibition in these each restrictions, and 3) how their response reconstructed their local community.

Through a case study in some life histories of women pastoralists this report concludes that their lives have been differentiated as a milk supplier, a cheese producer, and a consumer of cheese, even on the same ground of stock farming, and that there a new network of diversified inter-dependent subjects has arisen in place of a community of homogeneous independent pastoralists.