the context and development of rural construction in China
Pan Jiaen, Luo Chia-Ling & Wen Tiejun
Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, 18:1, 120-130, DOI：10.1080/14649373.2017.1278820
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649373.2017.1278820
If the shoe doesn’t fit, it is a mistake to change the foot, but in essence this is what occurred in 20th-century China, in the context of rural construction. Motivated by self-preservation, nationalist forces in China resisted the hasty, indiscriminate and harmful importation (indeed, imposition) of western influences, but these external influences ultimately predominated over traditional domestic practices. Radical ideologies evolved, destroying traditional construction methods while promoting ill-conceived, but ostensibly “modern” counterparts, or chaotic syntheses of old and new. Rural economies were devastated, to the despair of peasants. The internal response to external stimulus had become far more damaging, the cure its own fatal disease. Amid ongoing efforts at reconstruction, local committees were formed that varied in efficiency, and successive waves of rural construction featured a wide array of approaches, far more than merely “top down” or “bottom up (grassroots).” And yet, while conditions have improved, the symptoms of radical response persist. The proper cure should be context-dependent reform.