Urban Change, Individual Mobility, and Trust in China

Eric Fong, University of Toronto and Chinese University of Hong Kong
Hua Guo, Chinese University of Hong Kong

One of the central arguments in the study of social change is that rapid social change leads to the weakening of social bonds. Less is known about the relationship in Asian countries. Such research has become particularly urgent as China has experienced rapid economic change and massive rural-urban migration in the last few decades. Most quantitative studies of the relationship in developing countries do not differentiate between changes at the individual level and changes at the community level in relation to individuals’ social bonding. We draw from the China Labor Force Dynamic Survey (CLID), which comprises newly national represented survey data to explore how changes at the individual, community, and societal levels are related to levels of trust and reciprocity in China between local residents and rural migrants. The results suggest that individual level factors are significantly related to the perception of trust and reciprocal relations. Implications will be discussed.

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Presented in Session 152: Social and Educational Effects of Migration on Host Societies