The urbanisation of rural migrants...

26th Jul 2017

The urbanisation of rural migrants and the making of urban villages in contemporary China

A new paper by Yang Zhan is now available online.  This paper is part of a forthcoming Special issue entitled People and Plans in Urbanising China


In the past decades, urban villages proliferate in major cities of China. These marginalised places not only are home to many local villagers, but also host millions of rural migrants. This paper provides an ethnographic account of the spatial and social production of Chinese urban villages. It discusses urban village residents’ detailed tactics in developing/participating in the informal housing market, service market and labour market. By so doing, it emphasises people’s agency in making their own living spaces and further challenges the marginalisation paradigm that either victimises or disparages urban village residents. It shows peasants, who are commonly assumed to be the antithesis of modernisation and urbanisation, are major actors and urbanise their living spaces. This paper also elaborates on the types of governing strategies at the village and municipal levels. It points out that the contradictions and loopholes in state power have left space for the formation of informal markets and contribute to the making of urban villages in contemporary China.

You can access and read the full article here

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