Globalisation and the Rurality of Everyday Life: Cases Study of Guangdong, China
Date: 20 July 2020
University of Exeter
Doctor of Philosophy in Geography
This thesis explores the changing rurality and everyday life of rural China in the global era. It is built upon eight months of fieldwork in three villages in Guangdong, China. These three villages each represent a different development pattern, and therefore a different form of interaction and engagement with globalisation. Details ...
This thesis explores the changing rurality and everyday life of rural China in the global era. It is built upon eight months of fieldwork in three villages in Guangdong, China. These three villages each represent a different development pattern, and therefore a different form of interaction and engagement with globalisation. Details are presented in the form of ethnographic work studying the everyday lives of villagers in these case villages, including, but not limited to, the changing commodities, production, consumption, regulations, community, family life, and lifestyles. The overall aim of this research is to record and examine the differentiated experiences of rural everyday life and the reconstruction of Chinese rurality under globalisation. It further aims to contribute to the development of ‘grassroots globalisation’, arguing that the practices of everyday lives are deeply embodied in the global processes even in villages. Furthermore, it seeks not only to present and analyse the first-hand empirical evidence of diversified Chinese rural life, adding to scholarly place-based knowledge, but also to offer some new perspectives on the use of ethnography in Chinese rural studies. Drawing on eight months of fieldwork, the research suggests that the dynamic processes of globalisation are continuously shaping and enriching village life in rural China, provoking the diversity and divergence between villages rather than eliminating them. Through the differing reconstruction of production and patterns of consumption in rural areas, villagers’ consciousness of urbanisation and globalisation varies from village to village. Meanwhile, globalisation has triggered individualisation and brought more opportunities to villagers, further leading to the uncertainty of village development. While globalisation has caused the ‘hollowed-out’ phenomenon in some villages, at the same time it has elevated the competitiveness of others. New meanings have been brought to modern Chinese rurality.
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