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Title: Neighbourhood social interaction : implications for the social integration of rural migrants
Author: Wang, Z.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Against a background of worsening migrant-local relations and the difficulty to socially integrate rural migrants into Chinese cities, the purpose of this thesis is to explore the relationship between migrants and locals at the neighbourhood level using Shanghai as case study. Referring to existing neighbourhood studies from multi-ethnic societies, it is held that neighbourhood factors such as residential diversity and neighbourhood poverty significantly affect the neighbourly relationship between migrant and local residents. The thesis explores the underlying dynamic of intergroup neighbourly relations in urban China based on three questions. What is the current level of intergroup neighbourly relations in Chinese cities? How are intergroup neighbourly relations relevant in respect to the overall migrant-local relationship in China? How are neighbourhood characteristics affecting the intergroup neighbourly relationship in Shanghai? The analysis relies on data collected from a 1420-sized household questionnaire in Shanghai in 2013. Two key findings can be derived from the results. Firstly, compared to local residents, rural migrants tend to engage more in intergroup neighbouring activities and have a better affective relationship with native neighbours. The reason is because due to marginalisation, rural migrants are in more need of informal support from locals whilst the stigmatization of rural migrants discourages many locals from engaging with migrant neighbours. The second finding shows that neighbourhoods with a higher share of migrant residents tend to have a higher level of intergroup neighbouring activities and more neighbourly trust. This result contrasts most empirical findings from multi-ethnic societies and supports the contact hypothesis that more contact and diversity can lead to a more positive intergroup relationship. Moreover, this outcome confirms that neighbourly relations contribute to the overall migrant-local relationship in urban China.
Supervisor: Wu, F. ; Zhang, F. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available