Thursday, June 19, 2008

human development, so-called cultural steamrolling globalization, "frontier colonialism", and mash-up cultural creation-A Letter From Guizhou

Hello Family and Friends (Profs count),

So I won't be too specific in this post, for cautionary reasons, but I've just a few ideas of many lately that I'd like to share with you. They may be redundant to your knowledge, or they may be strangely foreign. Hopefully they're complementary and clarifying, or at least eye-opening. I recommend you go out and search on the foreign, as I am not making a huge effort to explain a bunch of currently swirling and mixed ideas. (that would frankly take up more time than I currently have!)So I would just like to talk about a few development perspectives and concepts of human development.

Actually, so I just decided I'll list some names for you all to check out, since I have even less time than I originally thought I apologies...the following are a few thinkers who have influence on my current honor thesis research here in Guizhou, China.
In no particular order:

Adam Smith, Friedrich Hayek, Dan Klein, Paul Bauer--and Classical Liberal Economic Theory in general
Amartya Sen and fellow Human Development promoters (which take much from Classical Liberal perspectives)
Modernist and Postmodernist perspectives on political economy and development schemes in a "globalocal" context, namely Tim Oakes (and some others I currently forget...)
Development Skeptics and Economic Rebels--William Easterly (Paul Bauer is really his precursor)
Critical Poverty/Development/Methodology Scholars--Michael Woolcock, Christopher Gibson, Deepa Narayan.
Mash-Up Culture/Remix Navas, Roland Barthes and Michel Foucault (and power theory, as far as Foucalt goes)

So I am currently navigating my way through Chinese bureaucratic waters, fraught with snakes and crocodiles of potential research impediment, but I will hopefully be village-side by this weekend, and will then be out of reliable contact for about 2 months.

Well, those are the only ones I can recall without my computer here, and I apologise for the frustrated brevity of the lot.

Off to take care of some things!
peace, love,

(and I leave with the nagging feeling that I've forgetten some important stuff...curse my crappy memory)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My occular consumption

Howdy folks, and greetings from Guiyang, Guizhou, China. Been here for about 3 weeksish now, and i've been living for relatively free (connections, connections, connections), with limited internet (as in, i go to cafes to steal signals...and buy drinks every once and again). I've been doing much research, swimming in paper, as i would describe it. I just wanted to share some reading material with you great people, and hopefully expand your horizons on some subjects that perhaps you're not so familiar with. I certainly have much material to get up to snuff with. Well, here's just a quick list, as i fear the imminent crash of my internet access:

  • The Elusive Quest for Growth, by William Easterly
  • The White Man's Burden, by William Easterly
  • Development As Freedom, by Amartya Sen
  • "The Fiction of Development," by Michael Woolcock
  • Several other BWPI working papers by Woolcock and colleagues (#12 on Mixed Methods for Assessing Social Capital in Low Income Countries, #8 on Empowerment, Deliberative Development and Local Level Politics in Indonesia) (BWPI=British World Poverty Institute)
  • Some P-A Theory (Principal-Agent), International Relations whatnot
  • "Human Rights as Cultural Practice: An Anthropological Critique," by Ann-Belinda S. Preis
  • "What's Tourism Got to Do With It?: The Yaa Asantewa Legacy and Development in Asanteman," by Lynda Rose Day
  • Various papers and angles on tourism policy development in China
  • Primary sources on Guizhou's tourism development and character
  • "Bathing in the Far Village: Transnational Capital, and the Cultural Politics of Modernity in China," by Tim Oakes (Tim Oakes is a great source on so-called 'frontier colonialism,' in historical Guizhou, and the social position of ethnic minority groups in relation to the nation and majority Han populations...and he relates this historical, cultural topography to the way development schemes and fdi then map onto such predetermined social conditions...)
Well, there's just a few things of late. Hope you enjoy! Have a stimulating summer my friends. I'll be gone for about 2 months in 2 weeks or so.
paz, amor,