Costello on Cultural Production in Reb gong
In this chapter Costello focuses on the economics behind recent changes in Tibetan-language education and cultural products (such as newspapers, books, operas, etc.) in the Reb gong area. The majority of her information comes from her fieldwork in Reb gong, including both interviews and surveys. She only cites one source, the Qinghai Tongji Nianjian from .
In her section on education, Costello describes the three most common options for education in Tibetan regions – Chinese language schools, Tibetan schools, and monastic education – and provides reasons (such as cost and religious reasons) why Tibetan language schools are most popular among Tibetans in Reb gong (224-225 ). She also includes considerable sections on the costs of education and the economic situation of different groups in Reb gong. Here she describes the many factors weighing on a family’s decisions when educating their children, including the increased number of children per family for ethnic minorities, the increased value of certain jobs versus monastic careers, the distance and scarcity of Chinese-education schools, the availability of well-paying jobs and the perceived value of education. She concludes that a number of factors, including the uncertainty of attaining a well-paying job after pursuing education, result in a dwindling enrolment rate among the Tibetans of Reb gong (229 ).
Following this section on education is a consideration of publication in Reb gong. Here she considers both books and newspapers. The section on books focuses mostly on the effects of subsidization on book production, stating that because of subsidies and donations, Tibetan language books are experiencing a publishing boom (231-232 ). The description of newspapers deals mostly with the issue of mandatory subscriptions and the inaccessibility of Tibetan newspapers to many Tibetan workers (233 ), but she suggests that growth may also be seen here.
Costello’s third major section concerns the state of Tibetan performing arts in Reb gong by considering the economic factors surrounding performing troupes. She divides troupes into two major groups: those who receive government funding and are thus obliged to give a certain number of performances a year, and those without governmental funding but who are still technically part of a governmental work unit (235 . This section closes with a brief description of monastic performing arts, such as the cham sacred dances. In her conclusion, Costello considers the future of education, publication and performance in Reb gong given current economic situations.