Accepted Paper:

Implications of tourism as a livelihood strategy to Chinese rural women's well-being  


Yixiao Xiang (Shandong Univeristy)
Dong Isbister (University of Wisconsin-Platteville)

Paper short abstract:

This proposed study argues that in the context of urbanization, land loss, and land use regulations for the rural area in China, serving tourism as an alternative livelihood strategy has reshaped the rural women's life in terms of enhancing their well-being economically, socially, and psychologically.

Paper long abstract:

Urbanization, land loss, and land use regulations have made tourism services a livelihood alternative for many women in rural tourist destinations in China. The alternative has not only brought women in rural China unprecedented opportunities to participate in non-traditional economic activities but also incurred changes in their life.

The proposed study argues that rural tourism services, a livelihood alternative, have helped improve women's well-being in rural China. It uses women in two villages of the rural skirt of Jinan, China, as a specific case and employs livelihood and well-being theories to closely examine the implications of rural tourism development to the rural women's life .

Fieldwork will be conducted in the selected two villages. In addition to collecting and analyzing related documents and literature, data collecting methods will include questionnaire survey to help get an overall knowledge of women in the two villages, participatory observation, and semi-structured and unstructured interview to help get an in-depth understanding of the research subject. Methods triangulation will be employed in data presentation and interpretation.

The contribution of the study is expected in the following dimensions: 1) it is part of

a major interdisciplinary efforts between tourism and women's studies; 2) it fills the gap in both tourism and gender study literature by presenting knowledge and understanding of Chinese rural women's efforts of surviving in the changing context of urbanization, land loss, and livelihood means shift; and finally, 3) it contributes to the methodological exploration by applying research methods in geography to anthropology and gender themes.

Panel P019
Women's empowerment, development and quality of life