Land appropriation and subsequent resettlement of rural inhabitants are central to urbanisation in China. Often, the result is the impoverishment of landless farmers, who are a principal source of social unrest in the country. In the literature, landless farmers are often wrongly assumed to be a homogeneous group. In contrast, this paper presents the age-differentiated experiences of land appropriation and resettlement among farmers. Using the case study of Xinghua village in China, and by reference to data collected via surveys and interviews, we show that even within a single community, there can be significant age-related differences in terms of compensation, livelihood changes, income, living conditions, and satisfaction. Older farmers tend to receive more compensation, and the negative impact of land appropriation is felt most acutely by middle-aged farmers. Viewed from a broader theoretical perspective, this study demonstrates the importance of understanding the impact of land appropriation and resettlement and shows how this impact is distributed unevenly across the affected communities.
- land appropriation
- landless farmers