Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (8): 1773-1789.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202008015

• Transportation and Cultural Tourism • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The construction and examination of migrants' place meaning in Xi'an Qujiang New District

HU Xianyang1,2,3(), BAI Kai1,2,3(), HUA Feifei1, WANG Lijian1   

  1. 1. School of Geography and Tourism, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an 710119, China
    2. Shaanxi Tourism Information Engineering Laboratory, Xi'an 710119, China
    3. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Tourism Informatics, Xi'an 710119, China
  • Received:2019-08-12 Revised:2020-04-15 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-25
  • Contact: BAI Kai;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41801130);National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671144);Research Project of Education Department of Shaanxi Province(19JK0332);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(GK202003063);Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(2019TS013)


In such an era of great transition, the migrants in China are on the horns of a dilemma — they cannot integrate into the cities, while the home villages are no longer their warm harbors. To help them acclimatize to the places of migration, constructing migrants' place meaning is a feasible solution, which therefore is a fundamental and urgent topic in the field of place research from the mobility perspective. One construction that researchers have used to understanding the human-environment connections is place meaning, which however has not been clearly defined and accurately measured in the previous studies. By employing the Q method and scale development, Study 1 investigates the dynamic nature of place meanings from the migrant's perspective, and develops a theoretical framework to explain the construction of place meanings. Through data analyses we identify four dimensions of the place meaning-self-identity, the interaction between migrants and others, the interaction between migrants and physical attributes, and synthetic interactions among migrants, others and physical environments. These interactions exist in a geographical framework consisting of nature, social relationship, and values. Study 2 designs a measuring scale of place meaning, which contains four dimensions with 20 items. Through the Exploratory Factor Analysis and Confirmatory Factor Analysis, the results verify that the theoretical model of place meaning is valid and acceptable. In addition, this paper also leads to a discussion on the nature, the identification and the characteristics of the migrants' place meaning. This study has enriched and improved the concepts of place and place meaning and their system structures, which have partially responded to the theoretical and practical needs to extend the research on migration and human-environment connections.

Key words: place meaning, Xi'an Qujiang New District, migrants, theory construction, theory examination