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How Migrant Labor is Changing Rural China


Part of Cambridge Modern China Series

  • Date Published: September 2002
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521809016

£ 67.00

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About the Authors
  • One of the most dramatic and noticeable changes in China since the introduction of economic and social reforms in the early 1980s has been the mass migration of peasants from the countryside to urban areas across the country. Murphy's in-depth fieldwork in rural China offers a rich basis for her findings about the impact of migration on many aspects of rural life: inequality; the organization of agricultural production; land transfers; livelihood diversification; spending patterns; house-building; marriage; education; the position of women; social stability; and state-society relations. Her analysis focuses on the human experiences and strategies that precipitate shifts in national and local policies for economic development, and the responses of migrants, non-migrants, and officials to changing circumstances, obstacles and opportunities. This pioneering study is rich in original source materials and anecdotes, as well as useful, comparative examples from other developing countries.

    • Examines the impact of labor migration on origin areas whereas other studies focus on cities
    • Based on rich and original fieldwork material
    • Examines entrepreneurship by returned migrants
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Rachel Murphy has produced a rigorous analyses of a major contemporary phenomenon, identifying issues at various levels, but within a fascinating and highly readable account of migrant labour in China. In contrast with many authors in the literature, she balances some of the advantages associated with migrant labour with adverse effects, giving a systemic and balanced view of the impact of migrant labour on rural communities, together with the people concerned and their families. Much in this book could be applied to other developing nations wherein migrant labour is a contemporary trend. This book will be welcomed not only by specialists in labour and population dynamics - in the modern parlance, it is a must read for anyone interested in contemporary developments in China.' Progress in Development Studies

    '… this is a timely contribution to the limited body of literature on return migration to rural China. the book serves as an interesting example, both theoretically and methodologically, for advanced students and researchers studying migration in developing countries … Anecdotes, interviews and visual materials are used to such an extent that the reading is made a pleasure at the general level.' Regional Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2002
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521809016
    • length: 306 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.554kg
    • contains: 28 b/w illus. 2 maps 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Values, goals and resources
    2. China, Jiangxi and the fieldwork counties
    3. Resource redistribution and inequality
    4. Migration, remittances and goals
    5. Recruiting returnees to build enterprises and towns
    6. The enterprises and the entrepreneurs
    7. Entrepreneurs, socio-economic change, and interactions with the state
    8. Returning home with heavy hearts and empty pockets

  • Author

    Rachel Murphy, Jesus College, Cambridge

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