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Rethinking authenticity in the implementation of China's heritage conservation: the case of Hongcun Village

Xu, Honggang; Wan, Xiaojuan; Fan, Xiaojun

Tourism geographies: an international journal of tourism space, place and environment -- Routledge -- Volume: 16 5; (pages 799-811) -- 2014

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  • Title:
    Rethinking authenticity in the implementation of China's heritage conservation: the case of Hongcun Village
  • Author: Xu, Honggang;
    Wan, Xiaojuan;
    Fan, Xiaojun
  • Found In: Tourism geographies: an international journal of tourism space, place and environment. Volume 16:Number 5(2014); 20141020; 799-811
  • Journal Title: Tourism geographies: an international journal of tourism space, place and environment
  • Subjects: Travel; Ecotourism; LCSH: Travel; LCSH: Ecotourism; Dewey: 910
  • Rights: Licensed
  • Publication Details: Routledge
  • Abstract:

    Authenticity is a constructive concept and the core principle for protection of cultural heritage, but it is also a controversial issue, along with its practice in different geographical and cultural contexts. Both the heritage management system and its authenticity principles are not indigenous, but were developed in western society and exported from western countries. As a result, conflicts arise with its implementation and therefore often lead to counterintuitive behaviors. This paper examines the heritage conservation process in the case of Hongcun by applying the social constructionism theory. The paper attempts to point out that both the heritage and the authenticity principles are socially constructed concepts and that the construction process is very much influenced by the power relationships involved. Authenticity in Hongcun is an implementation of the principle of material, static, and superficial style understandings, while less attention is paid to the non-material cultural heritage protection, which is especially reflected in the neglect and the development restrictions on local craft and folk art. The study shows that there is a need to be aware of the nature of the constructiveness and power relationships in the heritage management and to integrate local voices in the heritage conservation process to avoid conflicts and to achieve conservation goals.


  • Identifier: Journal ISSN: 1461-6688
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Physical Description: Electronic
  • Shelfmark(s): ELD Digital store
    8870.920842
  • UIN: ETOCvdc_100032886244.0x000001

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