Tropical Geography ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (4): 567-578.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003456

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Spatial Production of Post-Unit Community Based on Field Theory: A Case Study of the Xukuang Community

Xiaojin Cao1(), Xigang Zhu1(), Siqi Yu2, Yuanyuan Deng3   

  1. 1.School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
    2.The College of Landscape Architecture, Nanjing Forestry University, Nanjing 210037, China
    3.School of Architecture and Design, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
  • Received:2021-05-11 Revised:2021-06-21 Online:2022-04-05 Published:2022-04-25
  • Contact: Xigang Zhu E-mail:caoxiaoj225@;


The decline of community publicity in the post-unit era is the social feature of economic system transformation. Exploring the spatial evolution mechanism of post-unit community is of great significance to sustainable community governance. By bridging Lefebvre's ternary spatial structure and Bourdieu's four capital types, a research framework of space production is established based on field theory and practice. Taking Xukuang community as a typical case, the qualitative research methods of participatory observation and in-depth interview are used to analyze the multidimensional spatial production process from "unitary continuous network structure" to "multiple discrete group structure". The research shows that: 1) The spatial production difference mechanism of unit to post-unit community transformation is shaped by the institutional change from unit system to community system, on the other hand, it is affected by the factors such as the free flow of modernity and the adjustment of regulatory structure. 2) Post-unit community actors adjust their habits in the reorganization of residents' composition and power relations. The process of competing for community capital is accompanied by the reconstruction of institutional space, the transformation of material space, the alienation of social space and the awakening of subject consciousness. 3) The government discourse represented by the neighborhood committee adopts the discipline strategy to build an ideal community space in the space practice, and forms a connected but not integrated overall relationship with potential residents' resistance. Especially when the production of capital and power touches the boundary of the subject or the emergence of individual critical subject, it often leads to new space struggle, habit adjustment and the direction change of space practice. 4) The space production of post-unit community is jointly driven by the subject of right discourse and the subject of daily life. The promulgation and response of the old community transformation policy from the state to the local construct the expected vision of community governance from the macro level. The power game and inclination of actors mean the sinking and implimentation of the production strategy of the government power subject at the meso level. Under the background of the accumulation of unit path dependence, modernization and aging, the post-unit community as the undertaker encounters the lack of kinetic energy at the micro level, the deconstruction of acquaintance society and the reconstruction of stranger society, and the realistic context contrary to the concept of multiple governance produced by the top-down strong power transmission and the bottom-up weak residents' feedback. The research integrates the concepts of field capital and habitus into the ternary dialectical structure of space production, and the in-depth theoretical integration makes up for the cognitive limitations of the single theoretical perspective. It expands new ideas for the in-depth understanding of the spatial evolution and subject relationship of the old community represented by the post-unit community. And the consideration of people's subjective initiative and social culture to a certain extent broadens the logic of space production in the general sense, which is also a supplement to the existing literature on community governance. Finally, it is an important direction for future community governance to formulate governance goals and countermeasures with residents as the core and promote the common enjoyment of community power.

Key words: field theory, trialectics of spatiality, post-unit community, spatial production, community governance, Xuzhou

CLC Number: 

  • D669.3