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Abstract:

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CASE Paper
Migrants, Landlords and their Uneven Experiences of the Beijing Olympic Games
Hyun Bang Shin and Bingqin Li
July 2012
Paper No' CASE/163:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: I31, D63, O18


Tags: beijing; olympic games; housing; marginality; patriotism; exclusion

Hosting of mega-events such as the Olympic Games tends to be accompanied by voluminous media coverage on the negative social impact of the Games, and the people in the affected areas are often considered to be one victim group sharing similar experiences. The research in this paper tries to unpack the heterogeneous groups in a particular sector of the housing market, and gain a better understanding of how the Olympic Games affects different resident groups. We take the example of the Beijing Summer Olympic Games and resort to empirical findings in an attempt to critically examine the experience of migrant tenants and Beijing citizens (landlords in particular) in ‘villages-in-the-city’ (known as cheongzhongcun) by delivering their own first-hand accounts of city-wide preparation for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympiad and the pervasive demolition threats to their neighbourhoods. The paper argues that the Beijing Summer Olympiad produced uneven, often exclusionary, Games experiences for a certain segment of urban population.