PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2020, Vol. 39 ›› Issue (5): 751-765.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2020.05.005

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Rural social space production mechanism in a Great Relics Area from the perspective of capital circulation theory of Harvey:A case of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum

WU Chong1, ZHU Haixia1,*(), PENG Bangwen2   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
    2. School of Economics and Management, Northwest University, Xi'an 710127, China
  • Received:2019-08-16 Revised:2019-11-06 Online:2020-05-28 Published:2020-07-28
  • Contact: ZHU Haixia
  • Supported by:
    Social Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province(2019S006);National Natural Science Foundation of China(71173173)


As more than 80% of the sites in the list of China's Great Relics Sites are located in suburban or rural areas, relics protection and tourism development will inevitably affect the rural social space around the heritage areas. Analysis of the patterns of social and economic development is the key to achieving the rural revitalization strategy. This study took the heritage area of Qin Shihuang Mausoleum as a case study area and used questionnaire, face-to-face interview, field survey, and other methods to examine the development of rural society around the area in the past 30 years. The study transformed the traditional society-space binary opposition analysis and constructed the society-space dialectical analysis method based on the Space Production Theory and David Harvey's Capital Circulation Theory to explore the mutual feedback mechanism of society and space in the countryside around the heritage area of the Qin Shihuang Mausoleum under the influence of capital. The results show that: 1) The flow of capital to the optimal location results in the differentiation of rural social space in the study area. Due to the differences in the natural environment, traffic conditions, constraints of protection zones, and the distance from the developed heritage sites, the selective investment of capital has resulted in the differentiation of rural social space in the heritage area. 2) The adjustment of rural production mode is the internal driving force of the evolution of social space in the heritage area. Under the framework of cultural relic protection, rural social space production in the relics area is a process in which the positive externality of tourism development promotes the capital flow to adjust the rural production mode, thereby affecting the social relations. 3) The government policy to the restriction of capital access in the heritage area is an external factor. The vulnerability of cultural relics in the heritage area determines that the government's strong intervention must be guaranteed in the process of display and utilization. The transformation of rural production mode that may lead to the conflict between protection and development requires the intervention of the governments, further affecting the adjustment of rural production mode. The spatial production of rural social space in the heritage area is a process of dynamic evolution and spiral rise. Only by the effective management of the government and reasonable participation of the market and rural community can we guarantee the rational development and transformation of rural communities in the heritage area.

Key words: social space, space production, capital circuit, Great Relics, Qin Shihuang Mausoleum