DOI: 10.22217/upi.2019.511
Community Empowerment in Quanzhou: An Experiment of Grassroots Pathways for Humanist Urbanization Paradigm

Liu Chaoyin

Keywords: Community Empowerment; Paradigm; Practice; Habit; Grassroots Pathway


Being a proactive practitioner and a researcher, the author attempts to theorize community empowerment in the context of paradigm shift of urbanization through research-in-practice. Compared to the capitalist or statecommanded paradigms of urbanization, the author defines that community empowerment is a way of humanist urbanization characterized by a grassroots pathway, which generates and reproduces warm-and-responsible citizenship. Enlightened by T. S. Kuhn, P. Bourdieu and C. Alexander, the author argues that community empowerment emerges from the crisis of the existing mainstream of top-down paradigm and calls for bottom-up subjectivity. However, the true challenge to the bottom-up paradigm comes from the existing habit rather than conscious awareness. Therefore, the very beginning process needs to be designed in order to incubate the new citizenship habit which needs to be repetitively practiced via later institutionalization of empowerment. From a social experiment to a candidate for new urbanization paradigms, community empowerment brings challenges to the field of urban planning. The author proposes grassroots empowerment to be the core contents for the new urban planning. Also, grassroots empowerment may be a way of reducing the inner contradict of a paradigm.


Brief Info of Author(s):

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