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Craftsmanship Tradition and Modern Rural Social Changes

Author: LiuXing
Tutor: ZhangShiShan
School: Shandong University
Course: Folklore
Keywords: tailor Shiheng Village craftsmanship traditions rural society changes
CLC: C912.82
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 78
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Shiheng Village is a typical North China farming village, which has a long history and deeply traditional culture. However, due to the social transformation, caused by the rapid development of the national economy, and its advantages in political, economic, resource, transportation and others, in recent years, Shiheng Village is gradually showing a distinctive industrialization tend. The village is surrounded by industrial and mining enterprises, and arable lands have become enterprise lands through a variety of ways, so most of the villagers abandoned the farming tradition, coming into factories and become workers. The original spatial pattern in the village was broken, and blocks of new buildings are erected. Along with this, the villagers’ ways of life and concepts have changed a lot.In this situation, the tailoring craftsmanship in Shiheng Village has experienced tortuous ups and downs. In traditional society, it integrated into village daily life in the form of seasonal sideline and mutual helpers, and manual labor model is shared by the entire village. In planned economy period, the state administrative directive forcibly interrupted the village’s internal trading system, tailors no longer operated in the countryside as a profession, but as a craftsmanship going into the family. The beginning of Reform and Opening, economic recovery, administrative restrictions were lifted, a variety of rural craftsmanship were reviving again. The farmers were seeking the road to riches by the craftsmanship. At this time the village’s tailoring industry meet an unprecedented development opportunities, variety of business models were appearing, such as fair trade, family workshops and tailors shops. In addition, tailor classes held by Shiheng Village had broad and profound impact in the surrounding villages and played an important role in the spread and heritage of the tailoring craftsmanship. But then, with the economy-depth development, the garment industry rapid raised, and a large number of inexpensive finished garment were soled into rural markets, which gave a strong impact to the traditional tailoring—not only tailor practitioners quickly decreased, a variety of business models also rapidly declined, even faced to the fate that absorbed by the garment industry.The rise and fall of Shiheng Village’s tailoring shines upon the chan ges of manual labor model in social transition. On the one hand, Macroeconomic regulation and control of national politics in the socio-economic level dominant this process. The encourage and foster to the machine industry fundamentally determines the deteriorate trend of rural handicrafts. On the other hand, the internal rules of civil society also involved, showing a mutual influence between them, which decide the existence status of the traditional craftsmanship. In this situation, the craftsmanship with a high degree of sharing a traditional society is facing a serious crisis of differentiation. The craftsmanship is increasingly concentrated into the hands of elites. Correspondingly, people’s dependence, loved and respected feelings on the craftsmanship are increasingly indifferent, or even disappear. The craft spirit originally with an important function in the local society is facing aphasia position. Therefore, the task of remodeling this craftsmanship spirit is particularly urgent and necessary.

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CLC: > Social Sciences > Sociology > Social structure and social relations > Areas of sociology > Rural Sociology
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