Tag Archives: Urban Housing

China’s urban housing demolition

Cheuk Yuet Ho1, 2013, Exit, or evict: Re-grounding rights in needs in China’s urban housing demolition, Asian Anthropology, Vol.12, No.2, 141–155.

This report depicts narratives of individuals defying eviction orders in urban neighborhood dwellings in Chongqing, China. Resisting households are called “nail
householders;” their rationales and subjectivities in resisting demolition foreground a social and ideological regime change increasingly tuned to private property rights’
centrality. I address the primacy of “need” as a defining feature of both communism and socialism, and its practical and theoretical bearing on legitimizing neosocialist
governance.I argue that an objective diagnosis in reclaiming the significance of need’s due place in history and the present social reality is imperative for an accurate
ethnographic reading of how ordinary Chinese people practice their rights in an era of property dispossession and counter-dispossession.

Read the full text article http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/1683478X.2013.845330

Cheuk Yuet Ho, 2013, Bargaining demolition in China: A practice of distrust, Critique of Anthropology, Vol. 33 no. 4 412-428.

This paper presents multivocal exchanges between evictees and frontline demolition personnel regarding urban housing demolition in China. I discovered that evictees and evictors alike stick to the official rules but contest vigorously the interpretation, each in accordance with their tacit understanding of the norm of practising demolition and particular tactics of bending the rules of compensation. This paper provides a detailed, rarely available ethnographic record of the encounters between evictees and evictors, and contributes to the study of how agents strategise and interact within a habitus of micro-power relationships. It is concluded that the agency of various players is simultaneously reproducing the social structure but paradoxically working to sabotage the very structure within which they practice.

Read the full text article http://coa.sagepub.com/content/33/4/412.full.pdf+html


  1. University of Cambridge, UK []

Jacqueline Nivard

Jacqueline Nivard, Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine

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How urban housing demand can be met in China

Gottschalch, Sören (2013).  Urbanization in China and how urban housing demand can be met. Berlin : Institute for International Political Economy, 42 p. (Working Paper, 27).

As it has rightfully been recognized by China’s central government, successful urbanization will be decisive for the nation’s future development. Key challenges will be to realize urbanization economies, improve production and innovation capabilities, direct urban and suburban growth and improve a more equal distribution of benefits of economic growth to the population. This paper contributes to the discussion with illuminating the main drivers of urbanization: (i) migration and (ii) in situ urbanization, and the housing necessities for migrants that evolve from them. It attempts to support the establishment of an integrated and sustainable urbanization path by considering migrants urban housing demand in China’s socio economic transitional environment and indicating proper match. Migrant’s housing choices are driven by underlying priorities determined by their characteristics and their exposure to the immediate socio economic environment. Therefore, both, migrant’s characteristics as well as their immediate socio economic environment are put in relation to urban growth and its spatial features. The result is a set of housing supply forms and a set of distinctive migrant housing demands. Urban housing outcome and the match of housing supply and demand reveals housing preferences and housing market constraints. Based on these findings further housing recommendations can be given.

Read full text on EconStor (accessed 19 December 2013)

Monique Abud

Centre d'études sur la Chine moderne et contemporaine, EHESS, Paris, France

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