Exploring livelihood change in upland rural Hmong villages in Maguan County, Yunnan, China
My Masters thesis will investigate how ethnic minority livelihoods, specifically those of ethnic minority Hmong (Miao) , have changed in rural Southwestern China over the last 20 years. Hmong communities have traditionally made their livelihoods around household based semi-subsistence agricultural production, based primarily on rice or maize. However, new state policies, technologies, and opportunities are changing the means by which Hmong individuals and households are making ends meet. I will conduct fieldwork in a series of three rural upland villages where I will undertake semi-subsistence interviews, oral histories, potentially complete a photovoice project, and participate in and observe daily life. My aim is to discover the ways Hmong households and individuals are piecing together livelihoods that are both culturally appropriate and situated within the global cash-economy, and the factors that have been directly impacting these livelihood opportunities.