Out-migrate Elites as Rural-Urban Link: an Innovative Pathway Toward Rural Development Around Metropolis

Author(s): Tianzhu Liu; Jingsheng Li

Abstract / Introduction (download full article at the bottom)

Urbanization has caused the outflow of the rural population, leading to depression in rural areas. However, out-­‐migrate elites (OMEs) are found involving in rural affairs in China’s coastal areas and contributing to rural development. This paper questions what is the role OMEs play in rural development. We undertake the research with the participatory research method: taking the practice of village planning as the opportunity to conduct in-­‐depth interviews, questionnaires, and observations in the planning processes. The analysis concludes the binary nature that OMEs have: both “rural” and “urban”. OMEs’ kin, geographical and economic relations with the village derived from their rural experience, are the motivation of their participation in rural affairs, while their urban life experience contributes to the significant human, physical and social resources that the village is lack of. On this basis, OMEs deliver resources to the village in the process of participating in rural development. Through the delivery of knowledge and physical resource, they provide diversified ideas and funds for the village. Meanwhile, they bring long-­‐term influence to the villagers by affecting their values and building endogenous capacity for the village. Furthermore, OMEs help to expand the social network of the village by introducing their personal social resources from cities into the village, bringing developing opportunities for the village.

Publication: ISOCARP Congress Proceedings, pp.154-165
Year: 2019

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