SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA ›› 2011, Vol. 31 ›› Issue (5): 563-569.doi: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2011.05.563

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Production of Space and The Black Cluster in The Urban-rural Frontier: A Case Study of M Garbage Pig Farm in Guangzhou City

LIU Yun-Gang, WANG Feng-Long   

  1. School of Geography Sciences and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China
  • Received:2010-10-10 Revised:2011-03-27 Online:2011-05-20 Published:2011-05-20

Abstract: "Garbage pigs", also named as "swill-pigs", are mainly raised with food waste in the urban-rural fringe, which is confined for the health problems. This paper gives some structured social spatial descriptions of how the farmers occupied the place and how the farm operated through semi-structured interviews and discourse analyses of M garbage pig farm in Tianhe District, Guangzhou, China. To have a better understanding of this phenomenon, the authors apply the theories of 'production of space’, which concerns the space as socially constructed by the capital flow, political power and social movements. We explain this phenomenon mainly from the micro-perspectives of 'production of space’, which is still underdeveloped in current researches and focuses on the weak social forces and peripheral regions of spatial production. Two processes of production of space are identified, named as territerialization and delocalization. The former is operated mainly through the selection and reconstruction of the secret and low-cost spatiality, during which this place is formed into an Ano-Tulou (similar to the structure of Tulou, a Hakka style castle) structure and self-reproduction landscapes owing to the social cooperation and self-organization; the latter is supported by the local social network and production association. The production chains are embedded in the social network, which facilitates the improvement of spatial mobility and also fuels the opposition movement and spatial occupation. Finally the pig farm becomes an undergrounded, illegal, dirty, secret and informal black cluster as a construct not only of the social action but also the institutional backgrounds such as the land use system, the Hukou system and sanitary surveillance. It is different from the existing concepts such as informal sector, urban village, ethnic enclave, gated community or migrant enclave. We conclude that the garbage pig farm in Guangzhou is a product of famers’ adaptive process of territerialization and scalar delocalization under the pressure of institutions and through the social actions including diverse micro-politics in M garbage pig farm, so it is hardly possible to evict the farmers just through violent erasion.

CLC Number: 

  • K901.2