Hou-Jin : a case study of external assistance in community action
The protest of the Hou-jin community in Kaohsiung Taiwan against Chinese Petroleum Corporation's erection of the fifth naphtha cracker (FNC) plant lasted for more than three years, from July 1987 to September 1990, when construction for the new plant began. As a community of seventeen thousand people, Hou-jin had fought with the giant corporation that was supported by the policy of Ministry of Economic Affairs. Although construction of the fifth naphtha cracker plant finally started, the efforts of Hou-jin residents had born fruit. Because of the importance of the anti-FNC movement process, the Hou-jin community has become an object of study for sociologists and humanists. Although some among them have noticed the roles of external groups in the movement process (Wang 1989; Chou 1990), they focused mainly on the community itself. Interactions between the community and external groups were neglected. In the process of Hou-jin's anti-FNC movement, the community had had help from several different external groups. These external groups did not claim themselves as community development practitioners, nor did the community claim their movement as a community development process.Nonetheless, the movement involved almost the whole community and aimed to change living conditions of the community. It therefore fits certain characteristics of a community development process. As erection of the fifth naphtha cracker plant was finally started on September 21, 1990, the main goal of the community action literally failed. But the movement made a lot of differences too. Since the anti-FNC action has been called one of the most predominant community movements in Taiwan, it is worthwhile to look into the details of the whole process, so that community development practitioners might be able to learn some valuable experiences from the process. In this research, the researcher starts by reviewing the literature concerning definition of community development, environmental disputes and research done on Houjin community. The second chapter illustrated the purposes and method of the research. A short history of the anti-FNC movement is given in Chapter 3 describing the ups and downs of the community action. Chapter 4, the analysis of the process, is a comparison of the anti-FNC movement and the characteristics of an ideal community development process. Chapter 5 wraps up the research by proposing conclusions, some recommendations for community development worker, and suggestions for further studies in the future.
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