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The Premechanism and Action Logic of Grassroots Rural Talents in the Rural Public Cultural Service System under the Development of Digital Technology
At present, the rural public cultural service is facing the dilemma that the supply and demand are not in place. The participation of the local forces represented by the grassroots rural talents in the rural public cultural service provides a breakthrough. Based on the “dual-track supply” model, this paper studies the action logic of the grassroots rural elites in Dachengqiao Town, Ningxiang City. The study found that the grassroots rural talents’ participation in public cultural services has a pre-existing mechanism: villagers’ recognition is the foundation, government empowerment is the premise, and participation motivation is the focus. After reaching the critical point and generating the supply behavior, the policy guidance and the villagers’ demand, respectively, shaped the action logic of the grassroots rural talents: the grassroots rural talents acted as the bridge between the government and the villagers. Through big data, cloud services, and intelligent life, we can narrow the gap of rural, public, cultural services, and open up the last mile of public cultural services. The government should improve the incentive mechanism of rural talents to strengthen the grassroots rural talents’ participation motivation and give full play to the role of rural talents; rural talents should actively give feedback to villagers’ demand and actively explore villagers’ cultural needs to improve rural public cultural services.
Since the implementation of the rural revitalization strategy, under the leadership of the state and the participation of the society, the rural areas have received a large amount of external resources, including capital investment, policy support, and talent reference. These resources have laid a solid foundation for the revitalization of the villages, which has brought the development of the villages in China into a new era of village revitalization with the integration of urban and rural development. The 2022 “Opinions on Promoting Cultural Industries to Empower Villages” clearly states “inherit and develop agricultural civilization, stimulate the vitality of excellent traditional local culture, help realize prosperity of rural industries, ecological livability, civilized rural custom, effective governance, and rich life, and make positive contributions to promoting rural revitalization and accelerating agricultural and rural modernization in an all-round way.” The revitalization of traditional local culture is the spiritual foundation of the rural revitalization and provides an inexhaustible spiritual power for the rural revitalization.
The level of the rural public cultural service is an important standard to measure the revitalization of the rural culture. However, the current rural public cultural service system in our country is still in the status of insufficient supply and low service quality. General Secretary Xi Jinping has repeatedly proposed that history is the best textbook, and we should learn from history and learn from it the experience of modernizing the national governance system and governance capabilities . When the construction of the rural public cultural service system is facing the dilemma of insufficient demand, we can learn from the traditional governance experience. In ancient times, “the power of the state is no lower than that of the county, and the county is only lower than that of the clan. The clan is autonomous. Autonomy depends on ethics, and ethics creates the squire ; the rural society has long relied on the squire to provide public services. As the extension and expansion of the traditional gentry in the new era, the new rural talents played an important role in the supply of public cultural services in the countryside. As an important part of the construction of the rural culture, the rural talents’ culture has attracted great attention in the country. In 2020, the first document of the central government proposed to “promote talents in the countryside. We will train more people who know and love agriculture and take root in the countryside and open up channels for all kinds of talents to go to the countryside.” It indicates that the state hopes to guide new rural talents to become a social force and to participate in the rural revitalization work; the new rural talents are expected to become a new force in the rural revitalization work.
2. Current Situation and Review about Rural Public Cultural Services
2.1. Current Situation
From a macro point of view, the main reason for the backward level of public cultural services in rural areas of China is attributed to the long-standing gap between urban and rural areas. This disparity is manifested in various aspects, especially in the cultural fields which are easy to be neglected. Combining Figure 1 with Figure 2, it can be found that the per capita expenditure on education and culture of rural residents in China increased slowly from 2016 to 2020, but it was far lower than that of urban residents, and the gap between urban and rural residents’ per capita expenditure on education and culture was increasing year by year. In 2019, the per capita expenditure on education and culture of urban residents was about 224.56% of that of rural residents. The gap between the per capita income of urban and rural residents has resulted in the gap of per capita educational and cultural expenditure of urban and rural residents, and the low level of cultural service facilities in rural areas has also restrained rural residents’ educational and cultural expenditure to a certain extent. Also, the per capita expenditure on education and culture of rural residents in China is slightly lower than that of urban residents and has maintained a slow growth trend. However, affected by the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, the per capita expenditure on education and culture of urban and rural residents has decreased, and the per capita expenditure on education and culture of urban and rural residents is basically unchanged.
The huge gap between urban and rural residents’ per capita expenditure on education and culture is not due to the rural residents’ contempt for cultural activities. On the contrary, with the continuous advancement of urban-rural integration and the continuous development of the local society, the rural residents also have higher-level and diversified needs for cultural services. However, the imperfect rural hardware facilities and the mismatch between government supplies and farmers’ needs have led to the absence of rural public cultural services. Although our country has increased its investment in the construction of rural culture, the cultural needs of rural residents are still difficult to reach saturation. According to statistics, up to 2020, China still has 2.36 million natural villages, with a total of 41,636 township administrative units, with a rural population of 50,979 million, accounting for 36.11% of the total population. However, Figure 3 shows that the number of cultural stations in villages and towns in China is decreasing year by year. In 2020, there were only 32,825, with 36.87 million visitors. The existing equipment cannot meet the cultural needs of the masses in rural areas. In addition, the low level of public cultural service facilities in rural areas makes it difficult to match the growing cultural service demand of rural residents. As shown in Figure 4, the most covered cultural service facilities in rural areas are those with long service life, low cost, and wide audience, such as village radio, open-air movies, and farm libraries. However, the cultural service facilities with high construction cost and weak applicability, such as drama square and village history museum, are poorly covered, and the coverage rate of drama square is even, only 9.37%. The construction of public cultural services should not only improve the coverage but also take into account the diversified cultural needs of rural residents and understand their practical voices.
However, due to the imbalance between the government preference and the villagers’ demand, coupled with the lack of farmers’ sense of ownership in the construction of public cultural services, it is difficult to actively express their own cultural service demand, which results in farmers’ passive acceptance of public cultural services provided by the government, and the actual demand is hardly saturated. According to the questionnaire, 24.77% of the people expressed great satisfaction with the public cultural services provided by the township government, 20.31% of the people expressed more satisfaction, 36.22% expressed mediocrity, and 18.70% of the people expressed dissatisfaction or very dissatisfaction, as shown in Figure 5.
The construction of public cultural services under the government-led mode faces many problems, and the participation of new rural talents provides the possibility to break the dilemma of supply and demand asymmetry. As a local force, the new rural talents can help the township government to supplement the gaps in the construction of public cultural services, open up the “last mile” between rural residents and public cultural services, and realize the sinking of public cultural services, which is more prominent in the grassroots rural talents. This paper argues that people who live in rural areas and are closely linked with rural society, have high cultural level and vision, and are willing to contribute to their hometown and can be called grassroots rural talents, who can play an important role in the field of public cultural services.
2.2. Literature Review
Rural elites inherited from the traditional Chinese political society are also known as “squire” in ancient times. Scholars believe that the word “squire” first appeared in the Eastern Han Dynasty, and it is used to commend the officials who had done something when they were in office or made a significant contribution to the country’s social talents. Later, it refers to the local native’s virtuous, talented, and respected talents . The traditional education of rural elites has long played an important role in the historical development of China’s grassroots society because it is essentially consistent with the spirit of traditional Chinese Confucianism and reflects the demands of traditional Chinese ethics . “Lv’s Village regulation” is the earliest written village regulation in China. Its moral persuasion, negligence, etiquette and customs, and sufferings support the connotation of traditional rural talents guiding people to be good and educating hometown. In the long-term development of Chinese traditional political and social history, the rural elites played an important role in maintaining the rural social order. However, with the collapse of the traditional social pattern and the transformation of the gentry class, the rural elites gradually disappeared, and the township government has become a new subject of rural social governance . After the abolition of agricultural tax in 2006, the service function of township government has become the focus of the government capacity reform. The role played by the township government is changing. At the same time, the local power, especially the new rural talents with the characteristics of the new era, has gradually become the feasible power of local social governance.
The new rural talents have core characteristics that are in the same vein as traditional rural elites. First, they are eager to participate in the rural governance work, which drives their actions; then, they all have certain abilities, which is a realistic basis for them to become rural talents. However, the new rural talents are not a simple continuation of the traditional rural elites. The public cultural services they provide to the villagers are not limited to education, but more to provide the villagers with cultural activities. The participation of traditional rural elites is to gain local social authority; while the behavior of new rural talents is out of the idea of seeking welfare for their hometown. This is the essential difference between traditional rural elites and new rural talents.
However, as the focus of the government capacity reform, the township government’s service function, especially the public cultural service function, is unsatisfactory. Due to the lack of financial investment and the influence of profit-seeking preference, the public cultural services provided by the township governments generally lag behind the city level, and the service functions are limited by various practical factors. Cultural services are mainly to cope with performance appraisal, and the phenomenon of image project is serious . Therefore, the construction of public cultural service subject’s service ability has become the key to the construction of rural public cultural service system. However, how to build the capacity of service subjects can be roughly divided into three perspectives: the perspective of government dominance, the perspective of multiple subjects, and the perspective of government’s purchase of public services. Based on the perspective of government dominance, scholars proposed that the level of public cultural services should be strengthened by local government capacity-building and empowerment. Abdul et al., through the survey of civil servants in Indonesia, concluded that the ability of local government officials has a significant impact on the quality of public services . Keshav believes that local governments need to improve their technical, financial, and administrative capabilities to provide public services in order to enhance their own level of public services . The other is the perspective of multiple subjects from which scholars believe that local governments alone cannot undertake the heavy responsibility of local public services, and multiple subjects should be introduced to participate in the supply of public services. Yao and Yu proposed that the problem of “fragmentation” of rural public cultural services can be effectively solved by integrating the supply subjects to form a multielement coordination mechanism, and the overall level of rural public cultural services can be improved . The last one is the perspective of government’s purchase of public service. Scholars believe that local governments can purchase public cultural services from private enterprises or social organizations to make up for the gap in government supply by way of market. Salamon pointed out that the financial support of government departments provided participation funds for social organizations and promoted the improvement of social public services through a large number of data analysis in 22 countries . Alonso et al. believed that, in the management process of government purchase of public services, it is necessary to appropriately outsource decentralization to improve the purchase rate . Kim et al. took 847 public libraries in South Korea as the research object to investigate the service efficiency, and the results show that outsourcing improves the efficiency of public libraries .
However, the particularity of rural society makes it seem impossible to fit the above path. First, the reality has confirmed the failure of rural public cultural services under the dominance of the government, and a single government entity cannot meet the public cultural service needs of the vast number of villagers; then, there is a lack of social organizations of sufficient scale in rural areas to participate in public cultural services. Finally,in regard tothe township government, the financial dilemma is also a reason that cannot support government’s purchase of public services. The participation of the grassroots rural talents has become a feasible way. As a local force, the grassroots rural talents are not only familiar with the potential laws of the local society but also have the ability and willing to make contributions to the local society. They can participate in the supply of rural public cultural services as diverse subjects and fill the gap in the construction of government public cultural services. However, the way to guide the grassroots rural talents to participate in rural public cultural services at a practical level is the top priority. What kind of interactive relationship is there between the grassroots rural talents and the township government? How do the grassroots rural talents act in the field of rural public cultural services? These issues are very few.
This paper is basically a qualitative research based on case analysis, aiming at analyzing the effectiveness and operation logic of the grassroots rural talents’ participation through the communication between government officials in Dachengqiao Town and the grassroots rural talents. Through qualitative research, we can identify the attitudes of each group in Dachengqiao Town towards the grassroots rural talents and explore the role of grassroots rural talents in the construction of public cultural services in Dachengqiao Town. Some information is obtained from interviews and field investigations and analyzed with the aid of the analysis framework.
Dachengqiao Town is located in the central part of Ningxiang City, Hunan Province, 20 kilometers away from the urban area of Ningxiang City. There are 8 administrative villages (communities) in the area, with a total area of 58.01 square kilometers and a permanent population of 33,680. Dachengqiao Town is a typical coal-based township. After nearly half a century of mining, the coal resources have gradually dried-up. Since 2006, geological subsidence and collapse disasters have occurred frequently in Dachengqiao Town, causing serious collapse of housing facilities. The local government has quickly formulated a temporary resettlement plan, but the collapse events are still emerging one after another. Under pressure, the local government has shut down the traditional coal mine, which is the pillar industry of the economy. Since then, many problems have surfaced: fewer jobs and population loss. The collapse of subsidies has problems, and the masses have a crisis of confidence in cadres. The “underground lottery,” gambling, extravagance and waste, and the unhealthy trend of blind competition have seriously affected the construction of the local custom in Dachengqiao Town. As a result, the local government organized the local grassroots talents to form a joint force to clear up the old defects of Dachengqiao Town and realize the transformation of Dachengqiao Town. In 2019, Dachengqiao Town was selected into the national list of rural governance demonstration villages and towns.
Based on Fei Xiaotong’s important concept of “two-track politics,” this paper puts forward an analysis framework of “dual-track supply” of rural public cultural services. Fei Xiaotong first used “two-track politics” to analyze the traditional Chinese bureaucracy and the isolated political structure of local autonomy. He believed that the governance of traditional Chinese society was carried out through two parallel tracks: one was the track from top to bottom from the central government to the local government and the other is that the bottom-up places affect the central track. The two parallel tracks constitute the traditional Chinese social governance pattern of “upper and lower partition.” On this basis, this paper puts forward an analysis framework of “dual-track supply,” as shown in Figure 6. In this framework, the township government represents the top-down track, which is the exogenous force of rural public cultural service supply, and is the spokesman of state power in the rural field. The grassroots rural talent represents the bottom-up track and is the endogenous power of the rural public cultural service supply; and they are the spokesmen of the rural local power. They operate in parallel and form a dynamic interweaving relationship when serving ordinary villagers. The township government and the grassroots rural talents under the dual-track parallel are not isolated islands, but realize the cooperation between local power and national power in the field of public cultural services. The township government gives legitimacy to the grassroots rural talents and provides financial, material, and manpower guarantees for the grassroots rural talents organizations, which is the support for the actions of the grassroots rural talents in the field of public cultural services; the grassroots rural talents, in the blank area, give feedback to the township government on the real needs of the villagers and are the reliable cooperation of the township government.
3.3. Data Collection and Analysis
This study explains, in Section 2.2, the on-the-spot investigation and the interview, in the Dachengqiao Town on-the-spot investigation process, carries on the interview with the local town government personnel, the village committee, and the villagers, as well as the volunteer association member, collects the related information, has obtained the Dachengqiao Town government and the countryside virtuous populace to participate in the public service construction together in the first-hand research material. As shown in Figure 7, volunteers of social organizations and conveners of the housing estates constituted the main body of the grassroots rural talents in Dachengqiao Town, benefiting from the establishment of the “1 + 7” community organization model in Dachengqiao Town, which covered the whole Dachengqiao Town in the form of a net. The convening system of housing estates is an innovative exploration of the villagers’ autonomy in Dachengqiao Town. It connects the whole Dachengqiao Town through 352 housing estates. In the form of night talks at the housing estates, cadres and the masses can get rid of the argument, speak freely, understand the masses’ practical cultural service demand, and realize the balance between supply and demand.
Through questionnaires and interviews with some government officials, the masses, and village cadres in the 8 administrative villages (communities) under the jurisdiction of Dachengqiao Town, the general attitude of Dachengqiao Town towards the public cultural services of the grassroots rural talents is obtained. As shown in Figure 8, the work of the grassroots rural talents in Dachengqiao Town on public cultural services is highly satisfactory, with the proportion of very satisfied and satisfied with their work being approximately 75.89%. However, a small number of interviewees who were not satisfied with their work expressed doubts about the rationality of the actions taken by the grassroots rural talents and worried that the rural talents would become “villains,” hoping that the township government could strengthen the management of the rural talents.
4.1. Premechanism for the Grassroots Rural Talents to Participate in Public Cultural Services
There are three main types of subjects that are active in the supply system of public cultural services in rural society: the grassroots rural talents, township governments, and ordinary villagers. Villagers are the direct beneficiaries of public cultural services, and their satisfaction determines the success or failure of the construction of local public cultural services. Township governments are the main providers of public cultural services; while the grassroots rural talents cannot only supplement the vacancies of cultural services as a helping force but also give feedback on the deficiencies of cultural services as beneficiaries of public cultural services. In fact, as a member of the ordinary villagers, the grassroots rural talents will cross the threshold when the prepositioning mechanism of public cultural services reaches a certain critical point, realizing the transformation from ordinary villagers to rural talents and participating in the supply of public cultural services. This paper holds that there are three main factors in the front-end mechanism. Among them, the villagers’ approval is the basis for the grassroots rural talents to participate in public cultural services so that the villagers’ actions can overcome many internal resistances. The government’s empowerment is the premise, which guarantees the legitimacy of the villagers’ participation. The motivation of participation is the key point. The strength and output of the grassroots rural talents’ participation in public cultural services are determined by their motivation and the nature of motivation (Figure 9).
4.1.1. Villagers’ Recognition: The Basis of Grassroots Rural Talents’ Participation
The grassroots rural talents have certain ability. The geography and blood relationship built in the local society make them willing to serve the villagers and participate in the public affairs in the village. Therefore, the grassroots rural talents are recognized and respected by the villagers and become a feasible force in rural construction to assist the government in filling the gaps in public cultural services. With the strong participation of the grassroots rural talents in rural public cultural services, villagers will deepen their recognition of them, thereby, further consolidating the foundation for the participation of grassroots rural talents.
4.1.2. Government Empowerment: The Premise of Grassroots Rural Talents’ Participation
The government’s empowerment constitutes the legitimacy of the grassroots rural talents, which provides policy guarantee for the supply of the grassroots rural talents at the grassroots level and, at the same time, increases the discourse power of the grassroots rural talents at the grassroots level. However, the grassroots rural talents’ actions without the government’s empowerment are easy to cause “gray” and “disorder” , exacerbating the uneven distribution of rural resources. The government hopes that grassroots rural talents can make contributions in the field of rural culture, set a moral example with good behavior, and guide the construction of rural cultural atmosphere. Therefore, it often pays more attention to grassroots rural talent’s moral in the process of empowerment. The benefits of the grassroots rural talents in the field of public cultural services will be recognized by the villagers, which is also an important point in the government’s value orientation.
4.1.3. Participation Motivation: Focus of Grassroots Rural Talents’ Participation
The supply behavior of the grassroots rural talents is driven by their participation motivation, so their motivation determines whether grassroots rural talents will actively participate in the supply of public cultural services and the degree of participation. In the actual investigation, it can be found that although the motives of villagers’ participation are different, they can be generally classified into three types: want to contribute to their hometown out of hometown feelings, want to obtain the recognition and support of the villagers, and want to obtain benefits. The villagers’ recognition and the government’s empowerment will play an intensive role to the grassroots rural talents and strengthen their participation.
4.2. “Dual-Track Supply” in the Grassroots Talents’ Logic of Action
The supply front of “villagers’ approval-government empowerment-participation motivation” constitutes the threshold for the grassroots rural talents to enter the public cultural service system, and the interaction process between the grassroots rural talents and the township government as well as the villagers shapes the action logic of the grassroots rural talents. Specifically, the government adjusts the entry threshold of various fields through policies to guide the grassroots rural talents into the fields that the government expects them to participate in with “tangible hands.” The villagers’ demand is the target of the grassroots rural talents’ work, which virtually drives the grassroots rural talents’ action.
4.2.1. Township Governments: Guiding the Grassroots Rural Talents’ Actions with Policies
As the projection of national power in the rural society, the township government plays the role of “pillar” in the rural public cultural service system and, therefore, has a profound impact on the public cultural service supply behavior of the grassroots rural talents. At present, the central government holds a positive attitude towards the participation of rural talents and recognizes the role of rural talents culture in the field of rural culture. However, the township government, as the executor of the policy, may have different attitudes towards the participation of rural talents in the actual work, and such attitudes will affect the motivation and practical actions of grassroots rural talents, thus affecting the supply of public cultural services. The township government implements the central policy and widely absorbs the grassroots rural talents to participate in the supply of cultural services through preferential policies and incentives, which can mobilize the enthusiasm of the grassroots rural talents and positively guide the supply behavior of the grassroots rural talents.
The township government will also adopt a policy-oriented approach to regulate the supply of public cultural services by the grassroots rural talents so that the consequences of their actions are in line with government policy expectations . Therefore, the government will lower or raise the threshold in some areas to guide the grassroots rural talents to adjust their public cultural service supply behavior and prevent them from acting beyond the government’s expectations.
Dachengqiao Town attaches great importance to the strength of social talents. It gathers the strength of the grassroots rural talents through social organizations and other forms to form the recognition of the grassroots rural talents by group identification, strengthens the capital and organizational guarantee of grassroots township talents, and improves the management of the grassroots rural talents. Through the policy, the grassroots villagers are guided to work in the field of public cultural services, and their action paths are made clear.
4.2.2. Ordinary Villagers: Demand-Driven Action by the Grassroots Rural Talents
While the government consciously guiding the grassroots rural talents in the field that the government expects to participate in through the policy guidance, the actual demand of the villagers is to unconsciously influence the actions of the grassroots rural talents, and in some cases, the influence is deeper than the policy guidance. The grassroots rural talents hope to benefit the villagers and serve the villagers. One of the criteria for judging the effectiveness of public cultural services is the saturation of villagers’ demand. Affected by both internal cognition and work performance, villagers’ demand is the basis for the grassroots rural talents’ public cultural service supply.
At the same time, it is also possible to actively tap the needs of villagers . Ordinary villagers may not be able to realize the importance of the development of cultural life or express their cultural service needs smoothly, and their daily cultural life is poor. However, the grassroots rural talents, who have lived in the rural areas for a long time, are able to detect the potential cultural needs of the villagers, actively tap the cultural needs of the villagers, and provide public cultural services based on this.
Although Dachengqiao Town has made remarkable achievements since it launched the gambling ban campaign, the villagers still lack popular cultural activities in their daily lives. Family gambling is emerging and the gambling trend is about to revive. Local talents realized that the villager’s bad habit of gambling was due to the lack of healthy and civilized cultural activities in the village. Even if the mahjong parlors were closed, gambling could not be curbed at the root. As a result, the local talents provided equipment and venues for the villagers, carried out cultural activities such as square dancing and open-air movies, and also established a drum-surrounding opera association under the guidance of the government to create a rural cultural feast for the villagers. Since its establishment, the Weigu Opera Association has written, directed, and performed “Ode to Fresh Wind” and “Ode to Fresh Wind” and other more than ten popular plays and has performed more than 30 performances in the whole town, with more than 30,000 people attending. These recreational activities have enriched the amateur life of the masses, carried forward the cool breeze and healthy atmosphere, and promoted the traditional virtues, which have made a great contribution to the civilization construction of the countryside.
4.3. Dual-Track Supply: Division of Labor and Cooperation to Reach the “Last Mile”
Under the influence of policy guidance, grassroots rural talents exert their strength in the rural cultural field that the government expects them to participate. In this process, grassroots rural talents play the dual roles of the completer of public cultural services and the feedback of villagers’ cultural needs , supplementing the vacancy of the government’s public cultural service system and feeding back the cultural needs of villagers. Therefore, in the “dual-track supply,” the cooperative work between the grassroots rural talents and the township government shows a form of “interlocking” with each side having its own focus; while the focus of the grassroots rural talents’ work lies in getting through the “last mile” and making the public cultural services actually in place, solving the practical problems around them; while the township government pays more attention to the macrolevel problems such as the construction of cultural facilities and the construction of rural customs and civilization, as shown in Figure 10.
5. Dilemma and Optimization Path of Grassroots Rural Talents’ Participation in “Dual-Track Supply”
Dachengqiao Town attached great importance to the mass forces in the work of rural civilization, mobilized the grassroots rural talents to participate in the work of public cultural services, and made great progresses, which injected a steady stream of power into the construction of rural spiritual civilization. However, there are still shortcomings in the actual work.
First of all, the feedback mechanism of the grassroots rural talents still stays at the spiritual level. During the construction of the beautiful housing estate, many village talents voluntarily donated their land. Although they received various spiritual incentives including government recognition and villagers’ evaluation, their basic interests were ignored. For a long time in the past, people at the grassroots level were required to give selflessly and without material rewards, which would frustrate their enthusiasm and even cause them to stop their supply. Secondly, the degree of empowerment to the grassroots rural talents is low, and the grassroots rural talents are easy to run into a wall in practical actions. At the same time, the grassroots rural talents are recognized by the villagers because of their geographical and blood ties. In the implementation work, they are mainly flexible means, and the government’s empowerment is less so that they cannot adopt rigid means. In the process of mediation of disputes, although the grassroots villagers can ease the conflicts between the two parties, they cannot do anything if they meet “hard nails.” Finally, at present, the “fresh blood” of the grassroots rural talents are insufficient and their endogenous power is insufficient. Dachengqiao Town’s basic-level rural talents group is mainly composed of retired cadres, retired teachers, old party members, and other middle-aged and elderly people, which reflects the lack of training and inheritance mechanism of Dachengqiao Town’s rural talents. Therefore, it is necessary to establish a reasonable mechanism for the participation of the grassroots rural talents, to guide social forces to participate in the work of rural public cultural services, and to realize “co-construction, co-governance, and sharing” of public cultural services.
First, cultivate the cultural soil for the grassroots rural talents to participate. The government should attach great importance to the cultivation of the rural talents’ culture, build the rural talents’ museum, rural elites’ square, and other places to publicize the rural talents’ culture, and form the ethos of “respecting the rural talents, learning from the rural talents, and being a rural talent,” which will “make blood” for the grassroots rural talents’ groups.
Second, empower the grassroots rural talents. The government should give the township leaders the necessary autonomy to compensate for the necessary consumption of the grassroots rural talents and create a favorable environment for the grassroots rural talents to participate in public cultural services.
Third, change ideas and strengthen cooperation mechanism. Some cadres do not fully understand the importance of the grassroots rural talents’ participation and the grassroots rural talents as affiliated personnel of the government. The government, as the leader of the rural public cultural service, should form a joint ideological force with the grassroots rural talents, pay attention to the “bridge” role of the grassroots rural talents, and get through the “last mile” of cultural service delivery through cooperation with the grassroots rural talents.
6. Conclusion and Discussion
The supply of public cultural services under the leadership of our government always has the problem that the supply and demand are not in place due to the performance-oriented reasons, especially in the rural society due to the lack of farmers’ ability to express and feedback their needs. How to let the rural public cultural service truly sink into the village and meet the cultural needs of the peasant masses is a difficult problem in the construction of the rural public cultural service system . The participation of the grassroots rural talents has become a solution to the problem. Under the guidance of policies and villagers’ demands, the grassroots rural talents have formed a unique action logic of “dual-track supply” with township government, which has become an effective complement to the government-led public cultural services and serves as a bridge to breakthrough the communication barriers between the government and the villagers. Government empowerment, villagers’ approval, and participation motivation constitute the front-end mechanism for the grassroots rural talents to participate in the supply of public cultural services and gradually strengthen the supply behavior of the grassroots rural talents in the process of interaction.
It is worth explaining that the participation of the grassroots rural talents needs to be rooted in the soil of rural social culture, and the promotion of the rural talents culture will promote the construction of the grassroots rural talents team. The key to the practical action of the grassroots rural talents lies in the government’s support for their work. On the one hand, the government’s empowerment is the premise of the rationality of the grassroots villagers’ actions. Lack of government’s empowerment will easily lead to the disorder of the villagers’ governance. On the other hand, the government can provide organizational and financial support for the grassroots rural talents’ action, which is a strong backing of the grassroots rural talents. Therefore, the government should design a good management system for the rural talents, integrate long-term planning and government will into the logic of grassroots rural talents’ actions, and, at the same time, give grassroots rural talents autonomy. In addition, it is necessary to clarify the role of the grassroots rural talents and their cooperative relationship with the government, so as to prevent the grassroots rural talents from shouldering the “unbearable burden.” The grassroots rural talents need to give full play to the role of bridges in their actions, strengthen the initiative in public cultural services, tap the potential needs of villagers, and enrich the local social culture.
Under the influence of various restrictions, there are still some deficiencies in this study: the conclusions generated in this study are the results of case analysis. Whether they are universal remains to be investigated. It may be necessary to analyze them in combination with other situations to explore the applicability of the conclusions. In addition, the research on the preconditions of the grassroots rural talents’ participation is to some extent ideal. In fact, it is difficult to list the preconditions of the grassroots rural talents’ participation. Only the three groups with the deepest influence are selected here. Related issues are how the grassroots rural talents can play a specific role in the field of public cultural services? how can the government guide and regulate the actions of the villagers through policies? and which factors have a greater influence on the supply behavior of the grassroots rural talents? Many specific issues remain to be further explored.
The datasets used and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.
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