Tropical Geography ›› 2020, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 981-992.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003287

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Citizenization of Villagers in City Based on Field Theory: A Case Study of Liede Redeveloped Community, Guangzhou

Zhuolin Pan1(), Ye Liu1(), Yuqi Liu2, Zhigang Li3   

  1. 1.School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    2.Guangdong Key Laboratory for Urbanization and Geo-simulation, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    3.Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
    4.School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430070, China
    5.Hubei Residential Environment Research Center of Engineering and Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
  • Received:2020-02-17 Revised:2020-08-07 Online:2020-11-30 Published:2020-12-10
  • Contact: Ye Liu;


With the acceleration of urbanization in China, the transformation from increment planning to inventory planning in large cities has initiated the upsurge of urban village redevelopment. However, this redevelopment has overemphasized the economic benefits while neglecting the social benefits behind the redevelopment, resulting in villagers' difficulties in re-employment, inadequate social security, and other problems regarding citizenization. Taking the Liede redeveloped community as a case study, and using the field theory of Bourdieu, this paper adopts descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis based on data from questionnaires and in-depth interviews to measure urban villagers' level of citizenization after the redevelopment. The level of citizenization is measured through the four dimensions of economic integration, socio-cultural adaptation, structural integration, and social identity. The research indicates that to some extent, although the redevelopment of Liede village has brought new changes to community management, the village collective economic organization continues to undertake a large number of community services and livelihood security functions closely related to the daily life of villagers. The villagers and the village collective have formed an exclusive and closed pattern based on their common interests. Villagers have sought safety strategies for action and decision-making when facing social transformation, and their conservative economic strategies and homogenous social networks have resulted in little changes in the structure and quantity of their capital. In essence, the new village community has not been restructured along with the redevelopment of the physical environment, and the capital of stakeholders is in a relative state of equilibrium, which has not motivated the villagers to adapt to their new environment and reconstruct the structure of the field. After the redevelopment of Liede village, the villagers' living environment improved, their basic rights were secured, and their newly-moved in neighbors also exerted a demonstration effect, which considerably improved villagers' consciousness of their roles as citizens, their behaviors, and their way of thinking. However, many villagers have not achieved self-empowerment or integrated into the urban society, judging from the four dimensions of citizenization. In terms of economic integration, the difficulty of employment persists. Regarding socio-cultural adaptation, the younger generation can effectively adapt to urban society, while the older generation's habits and ways of thinking are solidified. In terms of structural integration, without a platform to interact with other social groups, it is difficult for villagers to expand their social network. Finally, regarding social identity, villagers' social status has not improved with their economic status, and the recognition of their roles as citizens is inadequate. Therefore, the government is advised to promote the transformation of village communities, regard the citizenization of villagers in cities as long-term social work, and carry out community activities and skills training to enhance the human and social capital of villagers, and facilitate their integration into urban society.

Key words: urban village, field theory, citizenization of urban villagers, Guangzhou, Liede Community

CLC Number: 

  • TU984.114