Working at the intersections of cultural anthropology, human
geography, and material culture, Tina Harris explores the social
and economic transformations taking place along one trade route
that winds its way across China, Nepal, Tibet, and India.
How might we make connections between seemingly mundane daily life
and more abstract levels of global change? Geographical Diversions
focuses on two generations of traders who exchange goods such as
sheep wool, pang gdan aprons, and more recently, household
appliances. Exploring how traders "make places," Harris examines
the creation of geographies of trade that work against state ideas
of what trade routes should look like. She argues that the tensions
between the apparent fixity of national boundaries and the mobility
of local individuals around such restrictions are precisely how
routes and histories of trade are produced.
The economic rise of China and India has received attention from
the international media, but the effects of major new
infrastructure at the intersecting borderlands of these
nationstates-in places like Tibet, northern India, and Nepal-have
rarely been covered. Geographical Diversions challenges
globalization theories based on bounded conceptions of
nation-states and offers a smaller-scale perspective that differs
from many theories of macroscale economic change.
Subjects: Population Studies, Political Science
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