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State Policy and Internal Migration - A Study of the Household Registration (hukou) System in China

Wallen, Minna LU (2009) SIMT09 20091
Graduate School
Master of Science in Global Studies
Abstract
In China, the past 30 years have been characterized by economic growth and rapid development that has transformed the nation into an important player on the international market. This phenomenal progress probably would have been impossible without the cheap labor force provided by the Chinese countryside in the form of migrant workers. Millions of rural people circulate the nation today in order to find jobs and earn money. The underdeveloped countryside cannot provide the incomes needed to support the giant rural population, and the Chinese nation is highly segregated when it comes to wages, social services and welfare benefits, access to education and employment. This thesis argues that these unequal conditions to a great extent are... (More)
In China, the past 30 years have been characterized by economic growth and rapid development that has transformed the nation into an important player on the international market. This phenomenal progress probably would have been impossible without the cheap labor force provided by the Chinese countryside in the form of migrant workers. Millions of rural people circulate the nation today in order to find jobs and earn money. The underdeveloped countryside cannot provide the incomes needed to support the giant rural population, and the Chinese nation is highly segregated when it comes to wages, social services and welfare benefits, access to education and employment. This thesis argues that these unequal conditions to a great extent are affected by the hukou (household registration) system, which registers all citizens as rural or urban, agricultural or non-agricultural. Within this system, all civil social rights are tied to the place of registration and the urban citizens have for a long time been privileged over the rural ones. In this way, the Chinese state has created a highly unequal society in which people are categorized and divided based on their geographical location. The thesis focuses on the hukou system as a single case study of an extreme case of state control over population movement, with particular emphasis put on the migrant workers in urban areas and the effects that the hukou system has on their lives and on the society in general. Migration theory, migration in relation to development and the state, migration patterns in China, causes for migration and the development and effects of the hukou system will be discussed in this study. (Less)
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author
Wallen, Minna LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT09 20091
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
hukou, China, migrant worker, migration, the state
language
English
id
1398963
date added to LUP
2009-07-02 09:28:21
date last changed
2010-06-04 15:54:37
@misc{1398963,
  abstract     = {In China, the past 30 years have been characterized by economic growth and rapid development that has transformed the nation into an important player on the international market. This phenomenal progress probably would have been impossible without the cheap labor force provided by the Chinese countryside in the form of migrant workers. Millions of rural people circulate the nation today in order to find jobs and earn money. The underdeveloped countryside cannot provide the incomes needed to support the giant rural population, and the Chinese nation is highly segregated when it comes to wages, social services and welfare benefits, access to education and employment. This thesis argues that these unequal conditions to a great extent are affected by the hukou (household registration) system, which registers all citizens as rural or urban, agricultural or non-agricultural. Within this system, all civil social rights are tied to the place of registration and the urban citizens have for a long time been privileged over the rural ones. In this way, the Chinese state has created a highly unequal society in which people are categorized and divided based on their geographical location. The thesis focuses on the hukou system as a single case study of an extreme case of state control over population movement, with particular emphasis put on the migrant workers in urban areas and the effects that the hukou system has on their lives and on the society in general. Migration theory, migration in relation to development and the state, migration patterns in China, causes for migration and the development and effects of the hukou system will be discussed in this study.},
  author       = {Wallen, Minna},
  keyword      = {hukou,China,migrant worker,migration,the state},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {State Policy and Internal Migration - A Study of the Household Registration (hukou) System in China},
  year         = {2009},
}