© 2015

Tea Production, Land Use Politics, and Ethnic Minorities

Struggling over Dilemmas in China’s Southwest Frontier

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Table of contents

About this book


In this book, Po-Yi Hung uses tea production as a lens to investigate the tension between nature and society under the market economy in frontier China. By focusing on the landscape of the 'ancient tea forest' (guchalin), this book aims to understand the interactions among tea trees, entrepreneurs, the state, and the Bulang, an ethnic minority population. Intensive ethnographic research conducted by the author examines local Bulang villagers' everyday lives as entrepreneurs in the market economy at a time of changing moralities and cultural renovations. The author explores the dilemmas that arise in this unique region between tradition and modernity, territorial margin and connected space, and nature and development.


Frontier Dilemma Tea Landscape Ethnic Minorities Yunnan China economy market economy politics production quality reproduction ritual society

About the authors

Po-Yi Hung is Assistant Professor of Geography at National Taiwan University. His research focuses on nature-society relations, food, and agriculture in China, Taiwan, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.

Bibliographic information


“Hung is to be applauded for including 25 photos in the book … . the insights about the villagers’ adoption of discourses of suzhi, their sense of a contradiction between modernity and science, and their relationships with the merchants from outside make this an interesting and valuable book. Beyond the small audience of scholars who work on Yunnan, it will be significant to those who study the interaction between global commodity markets and rural communities in developing countries.” (Joseph Lawson, Mountain Research and Development, Vol. 37 (1), February, 2017)