Impact of Behaviors of Governments and Villagers on Ancient Villages Protection and Landscape Changing: A Perspective of Native Sociological Theory

  • 1. Center for Tourism Planning & Research, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China;
    2. Centre for Urban and Regional Research, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510275, China

Received date: 2010-07-05

  Revised date: 2011-01-25

  Online published: 2011-03-20


To discover how ancient villages landscape changing and how to classify actors in the changing process, and to find out the logic behind actors’behaviors, this paper investigated Furong Village, an ancient village at Nanxi River Basin in Zhejiang Province, China. Qualitative research methods and native sociological theorries are adopted to analyze the phenomenon of landscape changing. By these, this paper concluded that, in China, the rural society is a Qingli society (reasonableness society), and Tianli (reason and morality), Renqing (favor), Mianzi (face) are very important. The formal power is embedded in rural culture, and the interaction between formal and informal power, between governments and villagers, caused the landscape changing. Borrowed the theoretical framework of'nation and society’, actors in landscape changing are divided into four styles: the governors of counties, the governors of towns, the villagers who having Guanxi, and the villagers who have no Guanxi. Under the restriction of the protecting policy, villagers think themselves as'martyr’, as the people who cannot achieve enough residential space, thus they occupied the highland of Tianli. By the displacement of power, the villagers who having Guanxi can'borrow’power from the person who are more powerful, thus they can build up their new houses. The behavior of the villagers who have Guanxi influenced the villagers withou Guanxi, who also try to build new houses, under the case that the governments restrict them, they can say: "Other people can build up their new houses, why we can’t?" They also can take use of the governors' weakness such as destroying the tourist facilities, collective petitions and so on to make confusion and force the governments to concess. And for governments, in order to strengthen the moral image and the identity from villagers, the governors of towns donnot want to use violence, and in order to keep stabilization, the governors of counties cannot tear down all the outlawed buildings. Once the behavior patterns of the governments are found out by villagers, many villagers can build up their new houses. Thus, the ancient village protection policy did not work. Thus, this paper induced four types of actors in the ancient villages’landscape changing, and each types of actors’behavior logic are portrayed. Based on'nation and society’binary framework, this article provides an'Actor Typology’and a way of understanding to research Chinese ancient villages’landscape changing under normal state, which can help policy-makers to design ancient village protection policy. In this typology, stakeholders such as tourists, scholars and media are not included, because in most Chinese ancient villages, tourism has not become to be, and very hard to become to be, the important influent factor of landscape changing. Also, in this typology, policies such as'build new residential areas’are not considered, because the authors found out that, such policies are hard to restrict the tendency of landscape changing and hard to change actors’behavior logic. In conclusion, based on the principle of'the simple, the best’, this typology eliminate other types of actors, only include four types of actor, and it can just explain how the ancient villages’landscape changing happens.

Cite this article

WENG Shi-Xiu, PENG Hua . Impact of Behaviors of Governments and Villagers on Ancient Villages Protection and Landscape Changing: A Perspective of Native Sociological Theory[J]. SCIENTIA GEOGRAPHICA SINICA, 2011 , 31(3) : 372 -377 . DOI: 10.13249/j.cnki.sgs.2011.03.372


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