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Former Villages Are No Longer There: Observationsin Rural Areas


By Zhao Shukai

Literature researches and data analysis can illustrate the changes in rural areas, but as regards farmers’ life, a lot of changes cannot be detected by data analysis. With regard to research on farmers, it is of significance for the research to focus on life experience and related observations. No matter viewing from the perspective of rural communities, or from the perspective of individuals, the needs of farmers have entered an era featured by personalization and amultidimensional manner. The difference in income level determines the difference in need andthe difference in means of making a living determines the difference in need. Due to the changes of farmers’ living standards, the need for community public service has become different. The villages of nowadays are no longer that of the past andso are the villagers. But, the governments’ performance seemed to have copied the past mode in many aspects.Theoretically,the governments at various levels havebecome aware of the need for changes in governments’ operation along with social changes. However, in their routine work, the old mode for governments’ performance still works. Therefore, the people felt that the governmentsare still, as they had done in the past, giving instructions, raising slogansand launching various “political movements”. However, on the one hand, the movements launched by the governments could not get any response from farmers. Many seemingly effective measures have evolved intoempty talks.On the other hand, it is difficult for farmers to get replies from the government to their diversified needs. Thus, in front of us is a disorderly village governance picture. The governments complained thatfarmers do not follow their instructions and orders, while the farmers would say that thegovernmentsare incapable of their work, which have madethe two sides become estranged. When it comes to the tension and clashes in rural areas, that can be observed from different levels and different perspectives.Farmers could create some forms of their own organizations to meet their own needs, and farmers also need the governments to make innovations so that the governments’ operating mode and organizational form can meet the needs of farmers.Under this new condition, the rural social management system and the policy application pattern should make corresponding changes.


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