School of Management, Minzu University of China
National Social Science Foundation of China (19BGJ017); Ethnic Research of National Ethnic Affairs Commission (2018-GMB-041).
Under the rural revitalization strategy, the phenomenon of rural gentrification in the outer suburbs of Chinese metropolises has sprung up. Studying this phenomenon can expand the connotation and extension of rural gentrification and provide reference paths for high-quality rural development. Taking Beijing’s Beigou Village as an example, this research employs the methods of participant observation and semi-structured interviews to analyze the characteristics and the driving mechanism of rural gentrification in the outer suburbs of metropolises. The study has unveiled that rural gentrification is a process of the growth of middle class without displacement. Four kinds of stratum representation modes are formed, including amenity migration, immigrant entrepreneurship, self-gentrification, and gentrifying agent. Rural gentrification brings about rural landscape changes in the aspects of revitalizing idle land assets, merging individual buildings, and touristification of public space. The flows of people, capital, culture and other elements in the era of globalization, accompanied by the interaction of diverse groups based on nostalgia and rent gap, are the key driving mechanisms that account for the rural gentrification. This research finds that rural gentrification in the outer suburbs of metropolises is a tourism-driven process that is supported and steered by the government, spontaneously participated by external gentrifiers, and proactively engaged in by village committees and villagers. Therefore, this paper provided the following policy recommendations: establishing a coordination mechanism for the interests of the government, village committees, external gentrifiers, and farmers, improving the rural homestead withdrawal system, optimizing the rural land use control system, and strictly enforcing the access and supervision system of capital fleeing to the countryside.