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Embedding Bikās in everyday life

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Chapter Summary

This chapter answers the question: how does the development ideology become an integral part of the Langtangpa?s conception of the ?good life?? The authors? analysis is both historical and synchronic, and adopts a socio-semiotic method. Socio-semiotics takes the epistemological position that both the artificially produced material object and our understanding of it ?derives from codified ideologies that are aspects of social practices and their socialisation processes?. Under Nepal?s present economic circumstances, many Langtangpa see operating a hotel as a means of social mobility and the attainment of greater material comfort. As a result, hotels have become status symbols, with their owners regarded as being a step closer to bikās than the others in the village. The chapter finally highlights the importance of treating the hotel as an important new materiality that has emerged in tourism-affected Himalayan communities.

Keywords: bikās; development ideology; good life; hotel; Langtangpa; Nepal; social practices; socio-semiotics; tourism-affected Himalayan communities



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