Chaozhou Guild Hall's Social Functions and Cohesiveness
Journal of Innovation and Social Science Research
As one of the most eminent business groups in Chinese history, Chaoshan merchants have left footprints in a great many of places throughout the world and built up world-wide Chaozhou guild halls, sites with multiple functions range from supporting their countrymen, worshiping the gods in Chaoshan culture, dealing with commercial issues to holding many other activities that strengthen the cultural identity of the Chaoshan people. The historical sites can still be seen in Beijing, Shanghai,
... , Guangzhou, Shantou, Hongkong and other cities in China as well as quantities of overseas districts. This essay will take some of the Chaozhou guild halls as research subject to examine how the buildings serve as social bond and how the social functions of the architectures are related to the cohesiveness. This essay argues that the construction of the Chaozhou guild halls root in Chaoshan people's idea of solidarity, but the power of intensifying Chanshan people's cultural identity lies heavily on the constructions' social functions, in that the daily life, decision, and action of Chaoshan merchants are made to associate with the place closely. Numerous historical events took place in the guild halls engage into historical progression, and the guilds halls evolved into the chamber of commerce after establishment of the People's Republic of China, which indicates the significance of looking at the historical architectures from the perspective of cultural studies.