From Landlessness to Rootlessness: Exploring the experience of belongingness through land expropriation
MetadataShow full item record
Land expropriation is taking place around the world. It has drawn tremendous attentions from both academic and public society. However, there is not a clear solution for the negative impacts cause by land expropriation, such as impoverishment and marginalization. This paper proposes to take a deeper look into people’s emotional world from the perspective of belongingness. To do that, we conducted a case study of Shuibei Village, an inner-city village in Huizhou city, China. The land of the village was expropriated by the municipality in 2004 and the people were relocated in a new community in 2005. Through the case, we found that land expropriation affect people’s belongingness in a negative way by detaching people from their home place and distance the relationship between these people. In respond, people conduct a series of activities to cope with the changed feeling of belonging in the new environment. Small-farming was identified as the most important activity that people perceive belongingness in their daily life. In addition, memory and culture are the key elements in forming the meaning of belongingness to each individual.