Negotiating Contestations for Community-Oriented Heritage Management: A Case Study of Loushang in China


Xiaomei Zhao


Department of Cultural Heritage and Museology, Fudan University, Shanghai, China


ABSTRACT  Rural heritage is a living heritage of significant importance; it requires community-oriented management for cultural continuity and local development. Different social relations exist at rural heritage sites, which lead to external contestation among stakeholders and internal contestation within the community. It is essential to identify the impact caused by such contestations and determine an appropriate way to negotiate solutions. In this paper, I examine the case of Loushang in Guizhou Province. I identified the contestations by examining the social relations through questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. Negotiation requires an appropriate person or social group to act as intermediary: they engage the stakeholders and induce them to collaborate; they also empower the community in heritage management. The case of Loushang indicates the tools that are necessary to facilitate community-oriented management for rural heritage; it bridges theoretical research and heritage practice.

KEYWORDS  internal contestation, external contestation, community-oriented heritage management, rural heritage

Received  November 27, 2017; accepted August 2, 2019.