Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Who Makes the City? Beijing's Urban Villages as Sites of Ideological Contestation

Who Makes the City? Beijing's Urban Villages as Sites of Ideological Contestation Inside Beijing are hundreds of urban villages. Originally farming villages, now engulfed by urban expansion, they persist due to China's segregated urban-rural property system. Inhabitants are often still classed as peasants, despite being inside the city. Since most have had their agricultural land requisitioned for urban construction, they instead build multiple extensions to their houses to rent to rural migrants seeking cheap accommodation. In some cases, village populations have increased tenfold as migrants have flooded in, causing cramped conditions and overloading village infrastructure. Urban villages have in recent years emerged as key sites of ideological and political contestation. For local officials and planners envisioning gleaming world cities brimming with advanced technology and highly skilled workers, these are dirty and backward “urban cancers,” enclaves of the “low-end population,” and obstacles to their visions of the city as embodiment of global modernity. An opposing set of scholars and policy makers view these villages as essential to city life, channels for low-cost labor to service urban elites, and gateways to modernity for those formerly excluded. Within the urban villages, groups of migrant-activists defy the statist vision of the city. Through cultural performances and visual representations, they struggle to promote an urban modernity in which they are included as active participants. This article explores how Beijing's urban villages constitute a key site of ideological contestation over what the city should be, and whom urban life is for. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png positions Duke University Press

Who Makes the City? Beijing's Urban Villages as Sites of Ideological Contestation

Loading next page...
 
/lp/duke-university-press/who-makes-the-city-beijing-s-urban-villages-as-sites-of-ideological-7oJJYQSvyj
Copyright
Copyright 2022 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1067-9847
eISSN
1527-8271
DOI
10.1215/10679847-9723672
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Inside Beijing are hundreds of urban villages. Originally farming villages, now engulfed by urban expansion, they persist due to China's segregated urban-rural property system. Inhabitants are often still classed as peasants, despite being inside the city. Since most have had their agricultural land requisitioned for urban construction, they instead build multiple extensions to their houses to rent to rural migrants seeking cheap accommodation. In some cases, village populations have increased tenfold as migrants have flooded in, causing cramped conditions and overloading village infrastructure. Urban villages have in recent years emerged as key sites of ideological and political contestation. For local officials and planners envisioning gleaming world cities brimming with advanced technology and highly skilled workers, these are dirty and backward “urban cancers,” enclaves of the “low-end population,” and obstacles to their visions of the city as embodiment of global modernity. An opposing set of scholars and policy makers view these villages as essential to city life, channels for low-cost labor to service urban elites, and gateways to modernity for those formerly excluded. Within the urban villages, groups of migrant-activists defy the statist vision of the city. Through cultural performances and visual representations, they struggle to promote an urban modernity in which they are included as active participants. This article explores how Beijing's urban villages constitute a key site of ideological contestation over what the city should be, and whom urban life is for.

Journal

positionsDuke University Press

Published: Aug 1, 2022

References