International Development Planning Review

Village resettlement and social relations in transition: the case of Suzhou, China

International Development Planning Review (2019), 41, (3), 269–291.

Abstract

China's modernisation and urbanisation are transformative, for places and people. Recently, under agricultural land consolidation and resident resettlement, a large number of rural villagers have been thrust into a compressed process of rural-urban transition. How are resettled villagers integrating into urban society? Specifically, how do they build and rebuild social relations – an important dimension of integration – in the new living environment? In what ways do the new relations resemble and differ from pre-resettlement patterns and those seen among regular residents? To answer these questions, we focus on a community of resettled villagers in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, compared against a reference group of residents in a nearby commercial housing complex. Our analysis of residents' social interactions draws from data collected though a questionnaire survey, supplemented by in-depth interviews. We find that most of the resettled villagers' social relations are place bound both before and after resettlement, with less detectable changes as opposed to differences from their counterparts in the reference group.

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References

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Guest, A. M. and Wierzbicki, S. K. (1999) ‘Social ties at the neighborhood level: two decades of GSS evidence’, Urban Affairs Review, 35(1), 92–111. Google Scholar

Hazelzet, A. and Wissink, B. (2012) ‘Neighborhoods, social networks, and trust in post reform China: the case of Guangzhou’, Urban Geography, 33(2), 204–20. Google Scholar

Hoffreth, S. and Iceland, J. (2011) ‘Social capital in rural and urban communities’, Rural Sociology, 63(4), 574–98. Google Scholar

Hwang, K. (1987) ‘Face and favor: the Chinese power game’, American Journal of Sociology, 92(4), 944–74. Google Scholar

Karim, H. A. and Hashim, A. (2012) ‘The effect of a resettlement scheme on the social-cultural changes of the Temuan community’, Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 42, 362–73. Google Scholar

Khalid, H. N. (1992) ‘Mining resettlement and rural development in Malaysia’, Asia-Pacific Journal of Rural Development, 2(1), 75–93. Google Scholar

Kuo, F. E., Sullivan, W. C., Coley, R. L. and Brunson, L. (1998) ‘Fertile ground for community: inner-city neighborhood common spaces’, American Journal of Community Psychology, 26, 823–51. Google Scholar

Li, P. and Wang, C. (1993) The location where new social structure is emerging, Shangdong People’s Press. Google Scholar

Lin, N. (2001) Social capital, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

Luo, Z. and Qin, Q. (2009) ‘Residential differentiation and group gap: the study on the problem and solution of land-lost peasants’ residence in the city’, (in Chinese), Urban Studies, 16(1), 8–11. Google Scholar

McMichael, C. and Manderson, L. (2004) ‘Somali women and well-being: social networks and social capital among immigrant women in Australia’, Human Organization, 63(1), 88–99. Google Scholar

Nguyen, P., van Westen, A. and Zoomers, A. (2017) ‘Compulsory land acquisition for urban expansion: livelihood reconstruction after land loss in Hue’s peri-urban areas, Central Vietnam’, International Development Planning Review, 39(2), 99–121. Google Scholar

Oh, J. H. (2003) ‘Assessing the social bonds of elderly neighbors: the roles of length of residence, crime victimization and perceived disorder’, Sociological Inquiry, 73(4), 490–510. Google Scholar

Sofer, M. and Applebaum, L. (2006) ‘The rural space in Israel in search of renewed identity: the case of the moshav’, Journal of Rural Studies, 22(3), 323–36. Google Scholar

Stumpf, M. J. (2012) ‘Housing and urbanization: a socio-spatial analysis of resettlement projects in Ho Chi Minh City’, Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection, Paper 1284, http://digitalcollections.sit.edu/isp_collection/1284 (accessed 1 November 2017). Google Scholar

Van der Poel, M. (1993) Personal networks: a ration-choice explanation of their size and composition, Amsterdam and Lisse, Swets and Zeitlinger. Google Scholar

Völker, B., Flapand, H. D. and Lindenberg, S. (2007) ‘When are neighborhoods communities? Community in Dutch neighborhoods’, European Sociological Review, 23(1), 99–114. Google Scholar

Xu, Y. and Chan, E. (2011) ‘Community question in transitional China: a case-study of stateled urbanization in Shanghai’, Journal of Urban Planning and Development, 137(4), 416–24. Google Scholar

Xu, Y., Tang, B. and Chan, E. (2011) ‘State-led land requisition and transformation of rural villages in transitional China’, Habitat International, 35(1), 57–65. Google Scholar

Young, N. (2010) ‘Business networks, collaboration and embeddedness in local and extra-local spaces: the case of Port Hardy, Canada’, Sociologia Ruralis, 50(4), 392–408. Google Scholar

Zhang, W. and Ruan, D. (1999) ‘Social support networks of urban and rural residents’, Sociological Studies, (in Chinese), 3, 12–24. Google Scholar

Zhang, M., Wu, W., Zhong, W., Zeng, G. and Wang, S. (2017) ‘The reshaping of social relations: resettled rural residents in Zhenjiang, China’, Cities, 60, 495–503. Google Scholar

Zhang, M., Wu, W. and Zhong, W. (2018) ‘Agency and social construction of space under top-down planning: resettled rural residents in China’, Urban Studies, 55(7), 1541–60. Google Scholar

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