Published: March 8, 2018

Student posing with Tibetan city in backgroundDorje Tashi (Duojie Zhaxi) was awarded an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) grant. The award will support his dissertation research project titled "Tibetan Farmers in Transition: Urbanization, Development, and Labor Migration in Amdo."

Breezway with log shelteringHis doctoral dissertation research project will investigate how social-cultural and political-economic processes intersect to influence Tibetan labor migration in Amdo, the Tibetan cultural region of the northeastern Tibetan Plateau. Using qualitative research methods, including participant observation, semi-structured interviews, surveys, and discourse analysis, this project will specifically examine how state development initiatives, particularly subsidies for house-building, and cultural politics of modernity together shape labor migration, as well as the effects of labor migration to urban areas on Tibetan subjectivities. This project will contribute to the field of development geography through its investigation of governmentality and modernity in an authoritarian, non-Western Context. It also contributes to migration geography by analyzing how cultural politics and political-economic factors come together in producing labor migration and how the embodied experience of labor migration shapes migrant and urban subjectivities.