Is it really just a rational choice? The contribution of emotional attachment to temporary migrants' intention to stay in the host city in Guangzhou

Huimin DU, Si ming LI*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Migrants' settlements have been and will continue to be the most important issue in China's urbanization in the coming decades. Using data from a household survey of temporary migrants in villages-in-thecity in Guangzhou city in China, this article explores the relationships among satisfaction, attachment, and the stay-leave intention. The authors begin by questioning the tradition that the concept of rationality is an adequate tool for psychological explanation, despite its widely acknowledged importance. They then model stay-leave intention by incorporating both cognitive and affective evaluations. The ordinal regression results demonstrate that temporary migrants' stay-leave intention is more of an affective choice than a cognitive choice. Intraprovincial migrants are found more likely to intend to stay in Guangzhou than interprovincial migrants. Finally, the authors conclude by discussing the negative impacts of discrimination and territorial identity in fostering temporary migrants' identification and attachment to the host city.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-94
Number of pages22
JournalChina Review
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to thank the anonymous referees for their valuable comments and suggestions. The usual disclaimer that all remaining errors are ours of course applies. The present research was financially supported in part by the Hong Kong Research Grant Council (Grants HKBU 242907 and HKBU 243209).

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