Dissertation > Social Sciences > Ethnology > National social patterns,social systems

"Hemu" and Reproduction of Local Society

Author YangLi
Tutor ShenGuanBao
School Shanghai University
Course Anthropology
Keywords “HeMu” Li people reproduction of local society
CLC C954
Type PhD thesis
Year 2013
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Scholar has focused on “HeMu” institution as “Living fossil” for longtime.Previous studies can be summarized into two aspects: First, take it as an oldeconomic produce organization in the society of Li ethnic group and research itsnature,features,development and demise.Second, revisit the “HeMu” institution area toshow the great changes in the life of Li people and discuss the traditional andmodern in the development of minority society.The two academic accumulationprovide the perspective for us to understand the society of Li ethnic through“HeMu”institution.However, the nature of “HeMu” hasn’t been well researched, especiallythe significance in Li people’s local social structure and reproduction needs to befurther concerned.Therefore,the work of this essay is to understand the integration ofthe local society and the operation logic in the society of Li ethnic,also reflects how“HeMu”relationship has kept a good social order when facing various external forceand pressure of social transformation.Specifically,first, based on the Li people investigation materials of social history,this studybegins by HeMu’s structure and mode of operation,meanwhile,it will discuss the nature of“HeMu” and the significance for the ancient Li ethnic social group and reproduction.Then,theauthor choose a village as the field which is in the central highland of Hainan, also describecommunity background of village,lanscape,living support and communityorganization.Next,the essay focuses on the state and operation logic of“HeMu”through various historical stages.Last, it tries to reflect how traditional“HeMu” village keeps the social stability and the “HeMu” tradition’s extension.Through the analysis,this essay shows that:“HeMu” is a labor exchange system thatancient Li people adhere to the land in the field of agricultural production.The exchange relationextends to the field of social life, and it has become the important force for Li social group andreproduction.Restricted by geographical condition in the central region of Hainan, feudalmonarchy rule cannot be reached,so Li society maintain the autonomous stability.In the era ofcollectivization,because the HeMu’s tradition is consistent with the concept of national ruralcollectivization, it is easy to realize the corporation of Li village based on HeMu tradition.So,the exchange system of mutual cooperation has continued vitality in this historical stage.Since thefull implementation of the rural household contract responsibility system, under the“HeMu”tradition effects together with the national policies and market forces,contemporary Lipeople still choose to form “HeMu” relationship to resist all kinds of risks in modern society.Based on the method of field work, this essay has basically completed an ethnography ofholistic living ethics.Through the discussion of a culture type in minority society,it reflects thatLi society still maintain its historical continuity of operational logic facing the rapid change ofthe external world in the national,market and the globalization process. It represents that allkinds of social facts observed are closely related with the inherent social and cultural tradition ofthe Li society.

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