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A Study on the Alternative Community Movements of a Rural Village in Sangju County

  • Journal of Regional Studies and Development
  • Abbr : JRSD
  • 2014, 23(2), pp.257-286
  • Publisher : Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development: IPAID
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies > Regional Studies in general > Comparative / Statistical Regional Studies

LEE KWANG DONG 1 백승대 1

1영남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Korean rural society, especially rural village faces the crisis of aging and hollowing. To overcome this crisis, various kinds of alternative community movements have been attempted in rural society. The purpose of this article is to evaluate the alternative values and meaning of five types of community movements of ○○ village in Sangju County such as the Saemaul Undong, Peasants’ Organization Movement, Cooperative Units of Crop Production, Sisters’ Garden Community Movement(Package Community Movement), and Spirituality Community Movement. This article also tries to explore the connections among the alternative community movements in ○○ village. We modified Kim-Heungju’s model of four principles for vitalizing rural society and used the modified model in evaluating the alternative values and meanings of five community movements in ○○ village. The modified model is consisted of four criteria of evaluation, that is, alterity, sustainability, acceptability, and specialization. We collected data for the evaluation through focus group interviews with 9 residents in ○○ village and 5 related people who lived in Sangju county. As a result, we found clear differences among the five alternative community movements which have been developed in ○○ village since early 1970’s. Especially we noted that Sisters’ Garden Community Movement got high points from almost all criteria. It is a noteworthy case of the alternative community movements in Korean rural society. We pay attention to the fact that women peasants in the village takes lead the movement. In Korean traditional rural society, women had a position which was subordinate to men. But in Sisters’ Garden Community Movement, they have a leading position. Cooperating with immigrant peasants, the women participants of the movement attempt to cope with rural crisis and peasants’ difficulties by themselves. They develop a kind of community movement which pursues the symbiotic relationship between urban society and rural society. In other words, it can be called as the community movement for social integration. We discovered that there were some connected relations among five kinds of community movements in ○○ village. There was a ideological connection among them. ○○ village shows characteristics which had strong ideological orientations from the beginning Peasants’ Organization Movement. Ecological orientation was one of them. Strong ideological orientations increased the alternative values of the community movements in ○○ village. We also found out that the community movements in ○○ village were good at making and using networks with external organizations. We could pay some attention to the sustained participatory culture of residents through the community movements in ○○ village. This study has a significance in showing that rural and peasants’ crisis as a social crisis can be coped with through alternative independent community movements. The case of ○○ village demonstrates that point. Encouraging and promoting peasants’ interest and participation in alternative community movements are important to overcome rural and agricultural crisis. Futhermore, there should be deep discussions about alternative community movements based on regionality.

Citation status

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