‘Peasants are peasants’: Prejudice against displaced villagers in newly-built urban neighbourhoods in China

Huimin DU*, Jing SONG, Si Ming LI

*Corresponding author for this work

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

17 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores contemporary prejudice against displaced villagers in urban China, drawing on a project on urban sprawl in Yinchuan where rural villages are absorbed into the urban area. The research demonstrates that media discourses about chaiqian baofahu and suzhi that stigmatise displaced villagers are being actively reproduced in everyday life in newly built urban neighbourhoods. Urbanites’ prejudice against displaced villagers can be viewed as, on the one hand, a result of the feelings of relative deprivation from unfavourable comparisons with displaced villagers, while on the other hand, a response to maintain a positive ingroup identity – in this case, an urban and ‘civilised’ way of life. The article then examines the effectiveness of contact as a means for reducing prejudice, and reveals that intergroup contact in urban neighbourhoods does not necessarily create mutual understanding and trust. The article highlights the structural causes of prejudice and concludes by arguing for social transformation to challenge and reduce prejudice.

本文以银川的一个将农村吸纳进入城市的城市扩张项目为例,探讨了当代中国城市中对失地村民的偏见。研究表明,媒体 使用的诸如“拆迁暴发户”“低素质”之类的话语对失地村民进行了污名化,而这种话语正在新建成的城市社区的日常生活中被人们大量地使用。城市居民对失地村民的偏见,一方面可以被视为是当他们发现自己不如失地村民富裕后产生的相对贫困感的结果,另一方面,也是一种试图保持“正面内向认同”(在这个案例中,是一种城市和“文明”的生活方式)的反应。文章接着考察了接触作为减少偏见的一种手段的有效性,并揭示了城市社区群体间的接触不一定能创造相互理解和信任。文章强调了偏见的结构性原因,并在结论中主张通过社会转型来挑战和减少偏见。

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1598-1614
Number of pages17
JournalUrban Studies
Issue number8
Early online date15 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This study was supported by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (CUHK14609219), and the Worldwide Universities Network.


  • contact hypothesis
  • displaced villagers
  • intergroup relation
  • prejudice
  • relative deprivation theory
  • social identity theory
  • 接触假说
  • 失地村民
  • 群体间关系
  • 偏见
  • 相对贫困理论
  • 社会认同理论


Dive into the research topics of '‘Peasants are peasants’: Prejudice against displaced villagers in newly-built urban neighbourhoods in China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this