Development and Urbanization
A seismic change in the residential pattern is emerging in rural China today: traditional rural houses have been quickly erased from the face of the countryside with flocks of peasants being relocated to modern high-rise building. The process of ‘elevation of the peasants’ has had a monumental impact on rural China. It redefines the formation of local identity and reshapes the moral and economic linkages between rural population and local state. A changing state-society relationship in rural China is on the horizon. Based on the original data collected in Chongqing, Nantong and Dezhou, the paper argues that the comprehensive uprooting of the Chinese peasantry from the land and the complications that have caused moral disorientation among the relocated peasants and fragmentation of local authority. The difficulty in establishing community identity in the new setting has further undermined local governance.