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Research On Rural Governance From The Perspective Of Communication

Posted on:2012-05-26Degree:DoctorType:Dissertation
Country:ChinaCandidate:X F JiangFull Text:PDF
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Rural governance has been a critical issue which is of theoretical and practical sense since China's reform-and open. From the perspective of communication, this research makes a deep investigation on the interaction among the state, rural elites, and the peasants in rural governance of four rural towns in "J" City by adopting the "state-society" analytic framework and qualitative research methodology. It argues that communication serves as a primary tactic in rural governance along with the gradual withdrawal of state's power from rural society. Accordingly, the relationship of interaction among state, rural elites and the peasants is a communication relationship in essence. In this sense, applying the communication perspective to the studies on rural governance is significant both to theory and practice.The state's governance of rural society is revealed by the exercise of state's power or the communication of state's power, mainly lying in the way of organizational communication which implements central government's policies into grassroots governments and even the rural elites by opening sessions, transmitting documents and checking. In addition to organizational communication is mass communication, among which the television has generated the greatest influence on rural society. Television has changed the ecology of rural governance and brought about difficulties. For one thing, the entertainment orientation of television profoundly reduces the peasants' interest in public participation; for another, the direct communication of information to the peasants impairs the authority of grassroots governments and their rural agencies.Rural elites consist of institutional elites and non-institutional elites. The institutional elites play a role as "gatekeeper" who decides to make some information public while others filtered in the light of reason. Specifically, the institutional elites usually communicate to peasants by appealing to emotion, reason, law, and power. In this progress, face, relationship, reason and even menace are put into practices effectively by institutional elites. As for the non-institutional elites, their role-playing can be categorized into three types as follows:(1) silencers, who at large show little passion in public participation; (2) double-sided mediators, who act as an adhesion agent between the institutional elites and the peasants and promote the interaction between the two; (3) dissidents, who mobilize ordinary villagers to struggle against the institutional elites.The atomization of village makes the interaction among peasants inactive. Due to the degeneration of rural elites' capacities in coordinating and disposing rural conflicts, the peasants increasingly prefer to handle their contradictions via legal proceedings and media intervention. The peasants resist rural institutional elites in the ways of public opinion, media intervention and group petition, of which media intervention and group petition are the patterns that peasants interact with state.In conclusion, the plight of rural governance can be understood in three terms from the perspective of communication:suspension of state's communication, involution of rural elites' communication, and fragmentation of peasants' communication. Different tactics are utilized by state, rural elites and the peasants in rural governance. Generally, the central government adopts coercion-style communication tactics to control grassroots governments and rural elites while it adopts indoctrination-style communication tactics to the peasants through mass meeting, mass communication and ritual communication. Turning to grassroots cadres and rural institutional elites, they employ negotiation-style communication tactics - mainly featured as bargaining, coax and pester unceasingly, human relationship, and context construction -- to interact with each other and with the peasants. By comparison, the resistance-style communication tactics are used by the peasants to express their will to rural elites and grassroots governments, such as noncooperation, gossip, pestering, petition, mass events, etc.In the end, this research raises a communication model for achieving good governance of rural society, namely, the corporation-style communication, which is characterized by diversity, equality and dialogue. The function of corporation-style communication is to enhance trust, expand the identification unit, and to promote balance and cooperation in rural society.
Keywords/Search Tags:Rural Governance, Communication, State-Society, Elite, Coercion-style Communication, Indoctrination-style Communication, Negotiation-style Communication, Resistance-style Communication, Corporation-style Communication
PDF Full Text Request
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