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Partners in Paradise

Tourism Practices, Heritage Policies, and Anthropological Sites


Robert J. Shepherd

How and why do some places in the world become symbols of illusive paradise, and what does this mean for their residents? Moving between anthropology, tourism, and the increasingly influential cultural heritage movement, Partners in Paradise examines the origins of a Euro-American fascination with places imagined to exist outside of Modernity. Focusing on the emergence of Tibet and Bali as, in turn, anthropological field sites, tourist destinations, and cultural heritage sites, it argues that the work of academic researchers, tourists, and cultural preservationists inform and constitute each other, in the process constructing particular places as «paradise». Unpacking this process is a necessary first step in understanding how Tibetans and Balinese negotiate their place in a modern world in which the meaning of «paradise» is contested. Drawing on anthropology, history, and tourist studies, Partners in Paradise offers a unique lens on the politics of development, modernization, and cultural preservation.


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Acknowledgments ix


Acknowledgments Thank you to the many people in China, Tibet, and on Java and Bali who took the time to answer my questions, engage me in debate, or pass some time in an amiable chat. I am also deeply grateful to Dr. Shawn McHale and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies at The George Washington University for providing research funds for this project, various colleagues who listened to presentations on different parts of this work and offered insightful comments and suggestions, and my co-workers in the University Honors Program and Department of Anthropology at The George Washington University. Many thanks also to Caitlin Lavelle, my editor at Peter Lang, and Dr. Sandra A. Wawrytko, editor of the Asian Thought and Culture series. Sarah Stack, the production coordinator for this book, was invaluable with her assistance, advice, and close reading. Finally, my hat goes off to my traveling companions and pals, past and present, in and around Asia: Conal McCarthy, Jeff Logan, Big Todd Judy, Fithri Diah, Steve, Mike and Dougie from Peace Corps days, Lao Wang, Liu Yizi, and Dawei from Beijing, Bob #1 of Shanghai and Virginia, and Liu Jie, traveler extraordinaire. Parts of Chapter II appeared in Consumption, Markets & Culture 6:2 (2003), 133-144 and Tourist Studies 2:2 (2002), 183-201. A different version of Chapter V appeared in South East Asia Research 10:1 (2002), 63-97. Parts of Chapter VI appeared in the Journal of Contemporary Asia 36:2 (2006), 243-257. And of course, all errors are...

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