Landholdings and the Immobility of Rural Citizens in China

Pu Hao*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paperpeer-review


    The conventional view of China's internal migration posits that the migration and social mobility of rural citizens are driven by urban jobs. Drawing on a national household survey dataset, this paper explores how the mobility choices of Chinese rural citizens are determined by individual and familial endowments at the sending end, including their physical wellbeing, basic education, family livelihoods and landholdings. The results confirm that good health, adequate educational attainment and non-local family livelihoods increase the propensities of out-migration while a lack of these endowments likely bars rural citizens from migration. The possession of rural land and other local resources, in contrast, tends to deter migration to urban destinations. Being the largest asset for most rural citizens in China, landholdings in the countryside function as a selection mechanism to sort rural citizens into various localities and social classes, propelling trans-regional class formation and reproduction. In response to the trend, the paper calls for policy intervention to enhance the wellbeing and life chances of the geographically and socially immobile members of the rural community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2023
    EventXX ISA World Congress of Sociology - Melbourne, Australia
    Duration: 25 Jun 20231 Jul 2023 (Conference website) (Conference programme)


    ConferenceXX ISA World Congress of Sociology
    Internet address


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