Academic journal article Asian Social Science

An Analysis of Double Impacts of Rural Clan in New Rural Construction

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

An Analysis of Double Impacts of Rural Clan in New Rural Construction

Article excerpt


As a part of traditional Chinese culture, clan has both positive and negative impacts on the construction of new socialist countryside. On the one hand, it has definite positive impacts on protecting farmers' interests, satisfying the psychological and emotional needs of farmers, and facilitating the construction of new socialist countryside. On the other hand, due to their narrow-minded interests and backward thoughts, it hinders our process of building democratic and law-based construction in rural areas and, furthermore, it poses a negative impact on the harmonious construction of new socialist countryside. Therefore, it is necessary to start with the regiment construction, construction of rule of law, cultural construction, construction of thoughts and so on to dispel the social space for the survival and development of clan and finally realize the disintegration and extinction of clan in the building of new socialist countryside.

Keywords: New countryside construction, Clan, Double impacts

Clan, which is also termed as family, refers to the family association linked by the blood relationship. Clan has a long history in China. It can be said that in entire traditional society of China, the patriarchal clan system and the national law are complementary with each other, clan power and political power jointly govern, and blood relationship and geopolitics are closely connected with each other, during which the power of clan is extension and supplement of the national power. Hence, the clan culture is an important nature of Chinese traditional political culture. Since the 20th Century, the clan has been considered to be feudal remnants and negative and backward and has been negated and stroke down. However, in the recent years, along with the deepening of economic system reform in rural areas, "rejuvenation" to a certain extent has appeared in the local clan organizations, which has non-negligible impacts on the current construction of new socialist countryside.

1. Positive Impacts of Clan on New Countryside Construction

Mr. Francis Hsu ever said that: "If people form a group of their own in one way rather than others, and this particular group formation way is passed on from generation to generation for many centuries, and, also, there is no significant change or even any resistance against the change, then it must be admitted that those people related with formation of the group must have discovered some sufficiency and satisfaction that can't be found in other group formation ways." (Francis Hsu, 1990, 61) As a sort of social group or social organization, the existence of clan has its profound historical and cultural origins, and its extinction would have to go through a relatively long historical process. To some extent, in the process of building new socialist countryside, the objective existence of the clan has also played a positive role.

In the first place, to certain extent, clan helps to maintain a stable and harmonious public order in new rural areas. In the construction of new socialist countryside, harmony and stability are the first prerequisite, while harmony and stability call for certain authority and order. At the current significant social transition stage, due to the fact that the political system of villager autonomy needs a gradual improvement and progradation process, democracy and rule of law still have not become a concept of order that the villagers generally follow. Mr Fei Xiaotong pointed out in the "Xiangtu Zhongguo" that rural China is a society which governs its people with formality which takes the family as the center, forms the pattern of difference sequence, and obeys governance by the elderly. Therefore, the role of authority and position which is based on the age and seniority in governance of a village can not be ignored. In the actual life, clan often plays a greater and more positive role than village-level regime organizations in mediating villagers, maintaining social public order and especially human relations order at a moral level. …

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