Social networks of rural–urban migrants after residential relocation: evidence from Yangzhou, a medium-sized Chinese city

Xu Huang*, Martin Dijst, Jan Van Weesep

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This paper analyses the effects of residential relocation on China’s rural–urban migrants’ social networks in light of evidence from Yangzhou, Jiangsu province. Our study contrasts voluntary moves with forced moves driven by demolition-led redevelopment of urban villages. Based on data from a survey conducted between 2012 and 2013, the regression analysis shows that voluntarily relocated migrants are more likely than forced movers to use phone/computer to contact their former neighbours, and communication technology allows them to maintain the frequency of their contact. Furthermore, when moving to a gated neighbourhood, voluntary movers are more likely than forced movers to participate in public activities, to have more contact with new neighbours and thereby to get more help from the residents’ committee and new neighbours. The results suggest that forced moves have negative effects on migrants’ social networks in the neighbourhood and that the demolition-led redevelopment programmes do not promote the migrants’ integration in the city.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-840
Number of pages25
JournalHousing Studies
Volume32
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Chinese cities
  • forced relocation
  • gated neighbourhoods
  • Rural–urban migrants
  • social networks
  • urban villages

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