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Bowdoin College

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Nepal: Development and Social Change


This study examines the interplay between the politics of mobility and changing notions of opportunity in the face growing trends of tourism in the southern Annarpurna Conservation Area (ACA) of Nepal. Research was conducted in three villages that have been the sites of rapid change in recent years, both due to the widespread adoption of local trekking economies, and to demographic change engendered by growing trends of outmigration. By adopting a political ecological framework, which challenges common apolitical explanations of exclusion, inaccessibility and unequal distribution of costs and benefits with particular regard to environmental challenges, this paper jointly applies what I will refer to as a “mobility lens” to understand issues of power and inequality through the forms and configurations of (im)mobilities faced by people of varying socioeconomic backgrounds. In particular, this paper will examine the legacies of wealth and political structures present in these communities, which have acted as barriers to both the mobilities and opportunities accessible to lower class and marginalized peoples, and more broadly, to the sustainable development of resources and communities in Nepal’s ruralities. Questions of how migration, in particular, has become an adaptation implement for disadvantaged actors to facilitate new forms of socioeconomic mobility will be addressed.


Asian Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Migration Studies | Politics and Social Change | Work, Economy and Organizations


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