Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (5): 1034-1045.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003390

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Differences and Influencing Factors of Local Identity between Local Residents and Immigrants in Medium and Small Cities after "Village into Urban Community": A Case Study of Y Village in Lingbao City

Li Wang(), Tuo Zhang, Lingling Hu   

  1. School of Tourism & Research Institute of Human Geography, Xi'an International Studies University, Xi'an 710128, China
  • Received:2021-06-20 Revised:2021-07-21 Online:2021-09-22 Published:2021-09-22


In the context of urbanization, residents' local identities have become an important topic in the study of cultural and urban geography. Changing village committees to neighborhood or community committees (i.e., "village conversion") is an important way of urbanization, bringing many changes to the lifestyle of local residents; in particular, the mixed residence of immigrants and local residents has had an important impact on local residents' local identity. These two types of residents constantly interact and integrate to reform the local identity and become the key to the sustainable development of rural society. The impact of urbanization on urban development has expanded from large to small and medium-sized cities. However, academic circles pay less attention to differences in the local identity of residents in small and medium-sized cities. This article takes the village Y community in Lingbao City, a small and medium-sized city, as an example. The measurement of local identity mainly draws on the representative and mature relevant measurement scales, which are designed based on three aspects: local functional identity (interaction, participation, and satisfaction), local emotional identity, and intention to stay. The interview refers to the relevant influencing factors of local identity, mainly concentrated in aspects such as system, housing, individuals, local natural environment, and social culture. We designed an interview outline and specific questions based on the local identity scale. The research data were obtained through questionnaire surveys and semi-structured qualitative interviews. We used statistical test, factor analysis, qualitative research, a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. We also conducted in-depth discussion on the changes in rural communities in the process of urbanization-after the "village conversion,"the group differences, and the influencing factors of local identity between local residents and immigrants in the process of population space and identity transformation. The research findings include: 1) The local identity level of local residents is higher than that of immigrant residents. The differences are mainly reflected in functional community participation, emotional community significance, and decision-making attention; 2) Local residents pay more attention to community participation. Although immigrant residents are concerned about the living environment of the community, their participation in the community is obviously lacking. The main reason for the difference is the continuity and imperfection of village rules and regulations in the process of community construction; the emotional identity of local residents and immigrant residents are significantly different. The former forms a self-constructed connection type emotional identification, and unites self and community into an inseparable whole, while the latter generates the other's gaze-dependent emotional identity, attaching the self-emotional identity to the evaluation of the community by others. The intention to leave and stay shows household registration-age heterogeneity, local residents' willingness to stay is clearer than that of immigrant residents, young residents are more willing to move out of the community, preferring to experience the environment and life outside the community. The intention to stay was based on the results of functional identity and emotional identity. 3) The difference in local identity is in the process of human-land interaction, community management system, local natural, cultural environment, and the result of differences in resident status. This study further enriches the research on the connotation of local identity while simultaneously promoting the social integration of residents in small and medium-sized cities. It promotes local community identity and provides a scientific basis for promoting the healthy development of cities. It helps to improve the identity of different groups in the changes of the community, promote the establishment of a new "city" identity of local residents, and enhance the integration of immigrant residents, both of which are important propositions for future urban and rural governance.

Key words: urbanization, local residents, immigrant residents, local identity, emotional rootedness, village into urban community

CLC Number: 

  • C912.81