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  • P-ISSN0023-3900
  • E-ISSN2733-9343

Comparative Study of Neighborhood Community Reconstruction in Seoul and Beijing: An Action-Theoretical Approach

Korea Journal, (P)0023-3900; (E)2733-9343
2018, v.58 no.2, pp.113-140
https://doi.org/10.25024/kj.2018.58.2.113


(University of Hong Kong)
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Abstract

This paper compares the Seongmisan community in Seoul and the Qinghe Y community in Beijing from an action-theoretical perspective. For this, we distinguish leaders and residents as two actor groups, and consider how they become engaged in neighborhood community reconstruction in terms of push and pull factors. Push refers to “because of” forces such as frustration and anxiety, whereas pull refers to “in order to” forces like ideology and dreams for a better life. The most important finding of this study is that the path-dependent development of community reconstruction in Seoul and Beijing can be explained by the role of leadership and the interaction between leaders and residents. Seongmisan community has been led by a distinctive group from the “386 generation” who are deeply engaged in people-oriented activities. In contrast, the Qinghe Y community has been led by a group of expert sociologists from Tsinghua University. This paper also shows what concrete outcomes have been produced through community reconstruction in each case, and how the leading group and community residents have interacted to bring about change. Based on analysis of these findings, the two cases are compared with respect to their relative strengths and weaknesses. In this paper we also assess the significance of the comparative case study methodology as adopted for this study.

keywords
community reconstruction social governance action-theoretical perspective comparative case study Seongmisan community in Seoul Qinghe Y community in Beijing

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