Redefining Chinese ‘Community’: The Growth of Taiwan’s CCD (Comprehensive Community Development) from Traditions of ‘She’ (社) and ‘Qun’ (群)

By Jui-Yang Kao, Shyh-Huei Hwang and Chen-Yin Liu.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The notion of “community” did not originate in the early Chinese language but emerged from similar terms like ‘She’ (the Chinese社) and ‘Qun’ (the Chinese 群). These traditions are important to the ‘indigenous appropriation’ of community as well as to the growth of Comprehensive Community Development (CCD) in Taiwan. Initially, ‘She’ referred to regionalization, highlighting the relationship between people and place and creating social integration in daily life. ‘Qun’ points to hierarchical networks of socialization and the psychological factors of a community structured by people-people relationships. As a condition for Communitas, ‘Qun’ comes up against the ‘time-space distanciation’ beyond life span and co-presence and solves problems within systems integration. Drawing from both ‘She’ and ‘Qun,’ a division between the public and the private is created, differentiating community from the society or the state. This model can be applied to village structure, which is made up of the three components of people, settlement, and tribe. The ‘Realm’ of Settlement has been built by the people-place relationship, while the ‘Sphere’ of the Tribe has been built by people-people interrelationships. These two notions of community correspond to the traditions of ‘She’ and ‘Qun’ and extend into the public/private Realm (environment/regional) and the public/private Sphere (state/society). In conclusion, the ‘indigenous appropriation’ of the notion of Chinese community joins together the ‘public Realm within the private Sphere’ (Settlement) and the ‘public Sphere within the private Realm’ (Tribe). A purely private area that overlaps both Sphere and Realm spans from the individual/being to the family/home. As the traditional meanings of ‘She’ and ‘Qun’ change, the former refers to life in the environment of a settlement, while the latter refers to civic empowerment as a grass-roots ideal of tribal democracy. This duality in community structure affects the Integration Design (ID) approach to CCD; settlement transformation involves primarily a top-down system integration followed by a bottom-up social integration. Meanwhile, tribal formation involves social integration (bottom-up) first and then systems integration (top-down).

Keywords: She(社), Qun(群), Community, Public/Private Demarcation, Taiwanese Comprehensive Community Development (CCD)

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.65-72. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.511MB).

Jui-Yang Kao

Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Design, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Douliou, Yunlin, Taiwan

Prof. Shyh-Huei Hwang

Head of Department, Department of Creative Design, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Douliou, Yunlin, Taiwan

Chen-Yin Liu

Secretariat & Current Lecture, Department of Land Management and Development, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan, Taiwan

A master’s degree of Department of Land Management and Development, Chang Jung Christian University. Major research is Governance to Leisure Farm and Sustainable Tourism.


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