Designing development: A case study of community economy in Pingzhai, Yunnan Province, in PRC

Hok Bun Ku, David Ip

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


One of the main challenges confronted by the Chinese government is rural poverty. However, despite efforts of rural reform, China's rapid integration into the global capitalist economy has in fact made the rural poor more vulnerable, suffering from not only financial hardships, but also from other forms of deprivation such as the loss of cultural identity. Acknowledging such rural predicaments, in 2005, a pilot project aiming at overcoming rural poverty by preserving and developing indigenous cultural artifacts and crafts for ethnic minorities was carried out in Pingzhai in Yunnan Province, China. The project encouraged villagers to use local materials and indigenous craftsmanship to produce ethnic arts and crafts for sale in urban markets, thus generating not only cash income but also a sense of renewed pride and identity, leading to stronger community participation in local culture preservation and greater resilience to the erosion of traditional community life brought on by global socio-economic forces. This paper describes the activities undertaken in the village since 2005 and the implications for rural social work in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-253
Number of pages19
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2011


  • Capacity Building
  • Community Economy
  • Design for Development
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration
  • Rural Social Work

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing development: A case study of community economy in Pingzhai, Yunnan Province, in PRC'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this