Building a new society on the base of locality: transformation of social forces in Taiwan during the 1990s
Abstract The aim of this article is to explain the transformation of social forces in Taiwan during the 1990s, as well as the “ideals of society” embedded in Community Construction that aims to reconstruct the local community. Based upon the analysis of discourses of movement agents, I differentiate four ideal-types of “good society” configured in the Community Construction. Firstly, by the ideal-type of “indigenous (bentu) society,” people hope to reconstruct local history and local culture. Secondly, by “civilized society,” people want to build a society in which its residents live in solidarity and civility. Thirdly, by “civil society” people emphasize the importance of grassroots democracy and the subject position based on locality in order to respond to forces of the state and the market. Lastly, by “civic society” people aims to construct communities encompassing different geographical ranges, in which people from different backgrounds can live together and integrate into a civic nation. Among these ideal-types, “civic society” is the articulating link between “indigenous society” and “civil society,” while locality has become the fundamental element in defining “culture” and “community” in Taiwan. As a result, the cultural resistance based on locality has transformed into the cultural governance focusing on locality.
Keywords:Community Construction, localization, social forces, civil society, civic society
Chen, Jui-hua [陳瑞樺] is assistant professor at Institute of Sociology, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan.