This paper discusses how Tibetan pastoralists living in Sichuan Province, China, have responded to recent state-initiated economic reforms. Individual households have increased their involvements in the new market economy, although the nature and extent of those involvements have been conditioned by local resource availability and proximity to markets. People have begun purchasing a varied array of modern consumption goods, they have increased their sales of pastoral products and sold more products whose prices have risen. Younger men also have begun working for wages in local towns. However, households have continued to resist government outreach offices' directives on herd management and marketing, to treat animals as commodities to be bought and sold to achieve some target herd size. The paper evaluates these findings in light of longstanding anthropological debates about the economic rationality of pastoralist practices.

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