(Not) Made in China: An Unexpected Journey

by Simone Jensen

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: China; Migration; Workers; Hukou
Record ID: 1118912
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/20349


The purpose of this project is to examine the domicile system of hukou, and its influence over the migrant workers from the rural regions of China, migrating to the cities in large numbers. The project aims to understand how the migrational restriction tool, hukou, is still in effect in a place where the migratory pattern goes against this, and in extension to this how the hukou system then plays an effect on the existence of these migrants in the urban areas of the country. Through research of the hukou system, it has become apparent that the system currently plays the role of segregating the Chinese population, in accordance to their heritage, and that this creates two categories in the population, those with urban hukou, who are entitled to national funded social security benefits, and those with rural hukou, who are not. In order to understand how this effects the lives of the rural people, who choose to migrate to the cities, the project lays out a preliminary contextual understanding two main themes: the governance and economic progression and the hukou systems reform, both starting their overview at the time of implementation of the hukou system. Following this, the project will lead into an content analysis of several acknowledged authors, through which the application of two select theories, the model Lee’s push/pull factors and the Institutional Hukou-based Social Exclusion, the analysis has constructed from. Our findings were that the hukou system has experienced little reform that relates to its effect on the rural migrants, however, since the food rationing scheme was abolished, the migrants felt free to move to the cities, outside the jurisdiction of the hukou system, resulting in the widening divide apparent in contemporary society between rural migrant workers and the urban residents. As such the hukou system still excludes them from the benefits of urban society, lack of employment rights and reasonable wages, ultimately resulting in the societal view and discrimination against them causing them to be continually treated as second class citizens.