Beyond place attachment: Land attachment of resettled farmers in Jiangsu, China

Guoliang Xu, Yi Li, Iain Hay, Xiuqing Zou, Xiaosong Tu, Baoqiang Wang

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines the concept of land attachment-a positive emotional relationship between a resettled farmer and his or her rural land-in the context of China's rapid urbanization and the resultant huge number of resettled and landless farmers. It explores the nature of resettled farmers' emotional relationships to rural land to reveal the kinds of land that are meaningful to famers' lives, and the differences among different groups. The study's conceptual framework was based on place attachment theory. Grounded theory was applied to analyze qualitative data obtained from in-depth interviews. The results show that land attachment can be divided into seven categories: landscape, lifestyle, land income, land rights, land rootedness, land culture, and villagers' relationships. We also observed three categories of emotional relationships between resettled farmers and rural land: "reluctant to give up rural land and with land attachment", "willing to give up rural land but with land attachment", and "willing to give up rural land and without land attachment". This study's exploration of the concept of land attachment revealed that rural land is not merely an objective asset but that it also has a multidimensional existence, and may be the focus of subjective loss. The study also observed that it would be helpful to deepen understandings of the subjective loss experienced by resettled farmers as a result of land-requisition policies. Drawing from its findings, the paper concludes with suggestions supportive of the sustainable development of future policies and communities.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number420
    Number of pages12
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019


    • China
    • Land attachment
    • Place attachment
    • Resettled farmer


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