chapter  7
18 Pages

The Miao of China: An emerging nationality


In China, it is often difficult to observe the links between development per se and the special status of certain minorities, together with their externally defined autonomous administrative areas. Part of the problem is the somewhat imprecise character of the idea of development. Is it economic growth? Is the goal an improved standard of living and quality of life? Does it involve promoting education, health and environmental protection? Is it the provision of basic needs? Is it a growing sense of identity and cultural awareness? Does it involve increasing local ownership of the methods and tools needed to promote a community’s future? Does it imply the building of institutional capacity? All of these aspects are part of the development process.