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Title: The significance of house and home in China's rural to urban migration
Author: Ponzini, Arianna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 1695
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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Building on previous work that focuses on rural to urban migration and class formation among urban Chinese youth, this thesis explores ideas of middle-class consolidation dynamics centered on the house, as well as on changes in perceptions of home that come with the migration experience. My research shows that, in contemporary China, the house stands at the center of a hierarchy of privileges in middle-class consolidation processes, especially for the middle-class rural migrant group. With this dissertation, I contribute to research that studies rural to urban migration in China by looking at a social group that has been widely overlooked, i.e. middle-class migrants with rural origins and who are employed in high-end industries of the service sector, and to research that examines class distinction by placing homeownership at the center of class-related hierarchies of privilege. I argue that house, as well as ideas of home, is key in middle-class consolidation and reproduction processes, as it is the principal asset that confers class-related legitimation and power, and that it is able to provide both inter-class and intra-class distinction. As a theoretical basis to support my argument, I avail myself of the Bourdieusian approach, which provides an effective categorization model based on the relational aspects of class membership, as well as the concepts of distinction and class symbolic boundaries, both of which are key to understanding class-related dynamics in contemporary China. The present project is composed of three empirical chapters that present and analyze the significance of house and home in rural to urban migration from three different perspectives: the effects of migration and class status on perceptions of home; the effects of homeownership on ideas of class and status; and the effects of education on migrant families' housing strategies.
Supervisor: Harrison, Henrietta ; Murphy, Rachel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available