The rapid urbanization of contemporary Chinese society is without precedent in human history. This brings numerous challenges to China’s social and economic system, such as the gap between urban and rural areas, and between eastern and western China; migrant workers becoming dislocated peoples; the obstacles posed by the Hukou and the social welfare system; practices of land ownership and land finance; the continuing housing bubble; and the phenomenon of the ghost city. Professor Dai presented China’s experience with urbanization and some of its resultant challenges.
Liyong Dai is an associate professor at the School of Sociology, Central China Normal University, and an instructor at the Confucius Institute, Carleton University. His research centers on modernity, religion, and religious pluralism. Prof. Dai is the author of Modernity and Chinese Religions (Beijing: Chinese Social Science Press, 2008). He received his BA in Politics from Jiang Han University in 1989, an MA in Philosophy from Wuhan University in 1995, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Renmin University of China in 2006. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University from 2007-09.