Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2013, Vol. 68 ›› Issue (12): 1657-1667.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201312006

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A study on commodification in rural space and the relationship between urban and rural areas in Beijing City

WANG Pengfei   

  1. College of Resource Environment and Tourism, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2013-05-12 Revised:2013-07-10 Online:2013-12-20 Published:2013-12-20
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.41271188; Science and Technology Planning Project of Beijing Municipal Education Commission, No.12530521505

Abstract: Changes of agricultural production and rural society in China have attracted worldwide attention since the reform and opening up in 1978, the grain output has increased year by year, and the farmers' income has been obviously raised as well. After joining the WTO, rural China has faced the following situations, internationally, stronger trends of economic globalization and sustainable development on one hand, domestically, more serious environmental problems caused by agriculture, the decrease of working population and the increase of labor substitution factors in agricultural sector on the other hand. Meanwhile, the diversification characteristics of rural economy have emerged. Rural areas were considered as an agricultural production space in essence. But, nowadays, it is also generally regarded as a space with other functions such as leisure and relaxation, cultural and education, and environmental conservation. While the role of production has decreased in the present rural space, the role of consumption has increased. Therefore, based on the theory of post-productivism, this paper discussed the issues about the spatial commodification and the rural-urban relationship in Beijing. We have gained the following abstract theoretical findings: (1) Theoretically, space is an abstract concept, whatever for urban areas and rural areas, there is no pure space which has commodification sense in physical world. Indeed, the so called spatial commodification is closely related to various production activities of human beings and gradually reveals itself with the production development; (2) Under the economic globalization and the worldwide sustainable development background, with the increasing growth of the production variety, the spatial commodification in urban and rural areas tends to be manifested; (3) Since the implementation of open and reform policies in the late 1970s, great changes have taken place in rural landscape, land uses, employment structure, life styles and spatial patterns in the rural areas of Beijing, and the rural spatial commodification has become protruding; (4) With the development of the spatial commodification transformation in rural Beijing, the urban-rural relationship has been greatly improved. (5) The gaps between urban and rural areas have been gradually narrowed, along with the development of the spatial commodification transformation in rural Beijing.

Key words: commodification in rural space, post-productivism, relationship between urban and rural areas, productivism, Beijing City