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二十世紀的明清鄉約研究

Twentieth Century Studies of Ming-Qing Community Compacts

Abstracts


鄉約作為地方社會組織,始於北宋,盛於明清,其活動皆與鄉村的禮俗教化及社會治安事情有關,但其性質與功效實隨時地人情而異,明清鄉約尤其多為政府控制社會的機制,並非純粹的自發性自治組織。由於鄉約寄寓著高遠的善俗理想,而實際上又涉及廣大的鄉村人民,故為歷代有志經世者所嚮往,亦為近代社會學者、政治學者及歷史學者所重視。本文探討了20世紀中外學者研究明清鄉約的主要論著,依次述析各時段性之研究趨向,30年代以後鼓吹和研究鄉約的各種主要論說,世紀末年鄉約研究的錯誤情形,從中顯示,鄉約研究當以瞭解個別鄉約形成及其施行的時地人事情狀為主,而已有的研究數量,還未足以對鄉約之歷史性質、功能與成效作出概括判斷。

Parallel abstracts


The community compact, xiangyue in Chinese, was an institution originally designed for community mutual aid and moral uplift. During most of Ming and Qing times in later imperial China it was conceived mainly as an institution for the reproduction of social order. Because it involved both local control and social education at large, it had drawn attention of scholar-officials in and out of office. It began to capture the interest of modern historians, sociologists and political scientists in the wake of local self-government and rural construction promoted earlier in the twentieth century. From the 1930s on, except during the 1950s, a substantial amount of scholarly studies from modern perspectives have appeared in Chinese, English and Japanese. Those presented by the historians have especially broadened our understanding of the complexity of Ming-Qing society both in its class relationship and in its conceptions of social order. The present paper offers a critical review of modern scholarship on this institution, especially in terms of methodology and arguments. It also proposes an approach of research which may further our understanding of the nature and effect of functioning compact organizations in Ming and Qing times.

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