China has experienced sizeable internal migration in the past several decades. This research examines the implications of internal migration on generalized trust in China. Using data from the 2014 China Labor-force Dynamics Survey (CLDS), a nationally representative survey, we compared the level of self-rated generalized trust in strangers among Chinese rural-to-urban migrants, rural nonmigrants, and urban nonmigrants. We further assessed the mediating effects of relative deprivation and neighborhood context in the relationship between migration status and generalized trust. The results show that migrants are less trusting than rural and urban nonmigrants after adjusting for relevant sociodemographic characteristics. The mediation analysis suggests that relative deprivation partially explains the difference in generalized trust between migrants and rural nonmigrants, and it greatly mediates the trust gap between migrants and urban nonmigrants. The neighborhood context largely explains the difference in generalized trust between migrants and rural nonmigrants. Moreover, urban nonmigrants are less trusting than migrants when taking neighborhood context into consideration, which indicates a suppression effect of neighborhood context on the relationship between migrant status and social trust in urban China. This study contributes to a deeper understanding of how social trust changes in the process of internal migration. Policy implications are discussed.
|Journal||International Journal of Intercultural Relations|
|Early online date||15 Mar 2023|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 15 Mar 2023|
- Generalized trust
- Rural-to-urban migration
- Relative deprivation
- Neighborhood context