Dissertation Abstracts

Social Change in a Rural Area in the Tourism Field: A Case Study of Hui Village

Author: Zhou, Chunfa , springzhou8@gmail.com
Department: College of Liberal Arts
University: Shanghai University, China
Supervisor: Yang Junyi
Year of completion: 2009
Language of dissertation: chinese

Keywords: tourism field , social change , ancient villages , rural research
Areas of Research: Social Transformations and Sociology of Development , Tourism, International , Economy and Society


The dissertation considers the development of tourism in rural communities. Based on a survey of Hui Village, the author uses Bourdieu's field theory to study the change mechanism and processes of the social structure in the decade before and after tourism development in the typical ancient village (Hui Village) in central China.
First, the author provides an overall description of Hui Village before the development of tourism. Second, the author carries out a detailed analysis of the resource scramble and capital exchange of main actors who were influential in the field of tourism. Third, the author provides a comprehensive portrait of the change of economic, social, and cultural process in the tourism field. Finally, the author builds a social change model of tourism in rural communities. This study had four key findings:
First, the author applies Bourdieu's field theory to rural tourism community study, revealing the profound changes in the mechanism of rural community tourism and actors’ interests and game process, and then the author builds a social change model of rural tourism. There are three innovations with the use of field theory: (a) Field theory is applied to the field of tourism research, which expands the explanatory power of the field theory; (b) To break through the limited theoretical traditions of structural analysis, the author blends field theory research with the study of social change; And (c), although Pierre Bourdieu warned that the study of the relationship of a field with another is difficult, this thesis provides a preliminary exploration of the complex relationship between Hui village field and Meta field, the Hui Village field and the Hong Village field.
Second, in order to highlight the role of actors in the Hui Village field, the author introduces the process-incident analysis as well as life-cycle analysis methods and reveals the logic of reproduction of the field of tourism in a rural area. In the Hui Village field, local government, formal village organizations, foreign investors, villagers, tourists and other major actors, relying on the different capitals, occupy different locations, according to their own habituses and participate in the process of competing for resources and capital exchange, and finally contribute to the generation and reproduction of the Hui village tourism field.
Third, after taking a comprehensive study on the development of tourism in Hui village over the course of a decade, the article confirms previous research findings and the research idea put forward in this article: rural tourism is a new manner of community development in some rural areas, and it is the third way for modernization in rural China.

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