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China’s economic reform has facilitated its prosperity and attracted massive domestic rural-to-city migrant workers. Apart from daily household expenditure, financial assistance to family members, and agricultural activity investment, their remittances are used in housing constructions. This seminar presentation examines the burgeoning development of “remittance houses” in rural China and the processes of rural migrant workers’ decision-making when building their dream homes. By conducting an ethnographic study, the research suggests that a remittance house is more than a building.The study of remittance houses offers a vantage point to explore: (1) the role of architecture as socio-economic practices, (2) the values and forms of the everyday economy of migrant workers, and (3) the relationship between the urban and the rural.
About the speaker
Yi-Ling Lin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on migration and housing investment, space and inequality, and the rural-urban changing landscape. She has contributed articles to scholarly journals, including the Chinese Sociological Review, Travailler, and Mainland Affair Council Report (Taiwan).
Ting Wang is a PhD Candidate in the Division of Landscape Architecture at The University of Hong Kong. Her research focus includes wetland governance, landscape anthropology and political ecology. She is the author of “A New Normal for Nature,” a monthly column in The Paper, emphasizing survival challenges and the actions and desires of Chinese conservation practitioners under ecological anxiety.