Functions of social conflict in tourism: Tourism's impacts on the Kanas Tuva and Kazakh settlements, Xinjiang, China
Yang, J. (2012). Functions of social conflict in tourism: Tourism’s impacts on the Kanas Tuva and Kazakh settlements, Xinjiang, China (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6139
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6139
The impacts of tourism have been well researched and such studies have developed into a rich body of literature. Equally the subject of social conflict has also been well developed with its own stream of analytical works; for example in western literature one might cite Machievelli‘s Renaissance work The Prince. However, while academics have proposed concepts of community tourism, a lack of empirical evidence remains as to the functions of social conflict and its relationship with tourism development, especially with reference to locations inhabited by minority groups. Firstly, when such a concern does exist, it is directed primarily toward the reduction of conflict. However, conflict can be a necessary and positive part of all social relationships, and a requisite for social change (Coser, 1956). Secondly, conflict is often accompanied by cooperation, unity and the formation of alliances, but in tourism studies the relation between conflict and cooperation/unity/alliance has rarely been discussed. Thirdly, a theoretical base for social conflict is needed to support the empirical studies regarding tourism development and conflict. Fourth, from the perspective of background and context, functions of social conflict are still an under-researched area within multi-ethnic communities affected by tourism. Based on one year‘s ethnographic research in Kanas, Xinjiang, China, this study employs Coser‘s (1956) social conflict theory for a discussion of tourism impacts on ethnic communities. This study proposes a tension-directed tourism development system to analyse tourism impacts. It also provides a useful tool to compare and contrast tourism impacts and their determinants in tourism destinations. Additionally it provides a holistic view and systematic approach to researching tourism impacts. This study demonstrates the nature, forms, and means of the conflict between the groups and subgroups, thereby contributing to an understanding of the extents, approaches and reasons behind the nature of observed tourism impacts. In undertaking this study, Coser‘s (1956) 16 propositions are examined and extended by making comparisons between Western and Chinese societies, by applying those concepts to an ethnic community, and by looking at the administrative realities of the Kanas Scenic Area. Based on the differences in culture between Western societies and China, it is suggested that some theories and research methods might need modification in the Chinese context.
University of Waikato
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