A survey of village in northern Anhui shows that obtaining prestige capital is the endogenous driving force for competent villagers to “be village cadres”. Prestige is a scarce symbolic symbol resource and the pursuit of it stems from the psychological needs of people to be recognized by the society. As an important social capital， prestige is obtained through social relations， and expands the influence of actors in the relationship network. Using the “cultural network-public identity-prestige capital” analysis framework to explain why competent villagers would like to be village cadres in the “blank village” in terms of collective economy and “empty village” where a large part of population is seriously lost. The results show that the cultural network provides a platform for the production， accumulation and display of prestigious capital. The competent villagers are deeply influenced by the rural cultural network and have inherent needs to maintain the villages’ social reputation. Public identity is an important mechanism for the generation of prestigious capital. The position of village cadre provides the competent villagers with a “public ID card” acknowledged by both the state and villagers which can provide “status resources” for village competent people to expand their prestige capital and help them expand their influence and social status in the village social network. The pursuit of prestige can strengthen the public attributes of village cadres and provide sustainable momentum for rural development and governance.