Chinese Studies Migration Under Economic Reform
Thomas R. Gottschang
  • LAST REVIEWED: 18 May 2015
  • LAST MODIFIED: 22 April 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920082-0035


China’s market-based economic reforms that began in December 1978 caused a great increase in migration, both domestic and international. Migration is an integral element of economic growth and development, as labor shifts in response to the creation of new jobs; it has been magnified and complicated in China by the effects of the household registration system, or hukou (戶口), which was introduced during China’s centrally planned years before the reform era. The hukou system effectively prevented most unauthorized migration and resulted in a huge excess in the labor force in rural areas. Because the reform policies brought about rising demand for urban labor, and the growth of the market rendered the hukou less restrictive, waves of migrants moved from the countryside into the cities, a phenomenon that is unparalleled in size and that has continued to the present. At the same time, the policy of opening China to international markets and social and cultural exchanges has brought about new opportunities for young Chinese to seek higher education abroad, while official and private foreign ventures have taken large numbers of Chinese workers to other countries. Immigration into China has also been spurred by economic growth, which has drawn in unprecedented numbers of foreign businesspeople, many of whom have remained for extended periods. Because most migration is caused by changing economic conditions and brings about significant changes in family structure, lifestyle, educational opportunities, health, and culture, it has been the subject of intense scrutiny by scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including economics, anthropology, sociology, political science, geography, and medicine. It has also drawn the attention of scholars specializing in gender studies and human rights.

General Overviews

An excellent introduction to domestic migration is Davin 1999, as is Fan 2008. Also see Solinger 1999 (cited in Household Registration (hukou) and Migrants’ Legal Rights) for a good overview emphasizing the contradictory role of government policy. Day and Ma 1994 provides a sampling of studies by leading scholars in the field. Another useful collection is Scharping 1997, which includes articles by Chinese researchers and important sections on women’s issues. The subject of international emigration from China is nicely summarized and placed in its historical context in Skeldon 1996. Pieke and Mallee 1999 includes research reports on both domestic and international migration.

  • Davin, Delia. Internal Migration in Contemporary China. London: Macmillan, 1999.

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    This is an insightful introduction to the major topics in the field, by a leading scholar. It describes the major migration flows within China since the beginning of the reform period and includes information from the author’s own fieldwork, including two significant chapters on women’s issues.

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  • Day, Lincoln H., and Ma Xia, eds. Migration and Urbanization in China. Studies in Chinese Environment and Development. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1994.

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    This collection consists of ten studies by leading scholars in the field, on the basis of the 1986 survey of urban migration carried out by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the best aggregate source of data at the time. Major characteristics and causes of the migration are introduced and analyzed.

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  • Fan, C. Cindy. China on the Move: Migration, the State, and the Household. Routledge Studies in Human Geography 21. New York: Routledge, 2008.

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    A very good overview of rural–urban migration, focusing particularly on the role of the household registration (hukou) system and household strategies. It makes use of the extensive literature and also includes new work on the hukou system, urban experiences of migrants, and marriage migration.

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  • Pieke, Frank N., and Hein Mallee, eds. Internal and International Migration: Chinese Perspectives. Chinese Worlds. Richmond, UK: Curzon, 1999.

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    An excellent collection of articles describing recent research on both domestic and international migration issues, by leading and innovative scholars.

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  • Scharping, Thomas, ed. Floating Population and Migration in China: The Impact of Economic Reforms. Papers from an international conference on migration and floating population in China, held in Cologne, May 1996. Mitteilungen des Instituts für Asienkunde Hamburg 284. Hamburg, Germany: Institut für Asienkunde, 1997.

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    This international conference collection presents insightful works on key aspects of migration within China and its policy implications. Included are valuable sections on women’s issues and articles by Chinese scholars.

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  • Skeldon, Ronald. “Migration from China.” Journal of International Affairs 49.2 (Winter 1996): 434–456.

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    Places recent emigration from China within the historical context of major past migratory flows and their destinations.

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    The scope and quality of statistics gathered, processed, and published by official Chinese agencies have grown tremendously in the decades since the beginning of the economic reforms. A good starting point for many research projects is the annual China Statistical Yearbook, compiled and published by the National Bureau of Statistics of China. The various sections contain extensive economic and demographic data, much of it broken down by province or by rural and urban areas. The most-important data on migration are contained in the results of the national census counts. China has counted its entire population in 1953, 1964, 1982, 1990, 2000, and 2010. The counts conducted since 1982 have followed modern international census standards and techniques. Also since 1982, in years between full census counts, the National Bureau of Statistics has carried out sample population counts, of either 1 percent or 10 percent of the total. The main data from these exercises are presented in the population section of the annual yearbook. An excellent introduction to the official census data and a 1-percent survey is provided in Li 2004.

    • Li, Si-ming. “Population Migration and Urbanization in China: A Comparative Analysis of the 1990 Population Census and the 1995 National One Percent Sample Population Survey.” International Migration Review 38.2 (June 2004): 655–685.

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      This is a valuable explanation of the census data of 1990 and of the 1-percent sample survey taken in 1995. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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      • National Bureau of Statistics of China. China Statistical Yearbook. Beijing: Statistics Press, 1994–.

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        Since 1994, published annually in bilingual English and Chinese (Zhongguo tongji nianjian 中国统计年鉴) editions. Before 1999, the bureau’s title, Guojia tongji ju 国家统计局, was translated as “State Statistical Bureau.”

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        Interview and Survey Studies

        Research on issues that are not covered by census questions must rely on interviews or surveys conducted among migrants. This kind of work requires approval of national and local agencies and for foreign scholars is usually carried out in partnership with a Chinese institution. Good examples of this type of project are Rozelle, et al. 1999 and Woon 1999. Another fine example is Wen and Wang 2009 (cited in Family and Society).

        • Rozelle, Scott, Li Guo, Minggao Shen, Amelia Hughart, and John Giles. “Leaving China’s Farms: Survey Results of New Paths and Remaining Hurdles to Rural Migration.” China Quarterly 158 (June 1999): 367–393.

          DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000005816Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

          Presents the research design and conclusions of a carefully planned survey of two hundred villages. Derives new estimates of national migrant numbers, shows new opportunities for women migrants, and emphasizes the importance of chain migration. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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          • Woon, Yuen-Fong. “Labor Migration in the 1990s: Homeward Orientation of Migrants in the Pearl River Delta Region and Its Implications for Interior China.” Modern China 25.4 (October 1999): 475–512.

            DOI: 10.1177/009770049902500404Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

            Based on fieldwork among temporary migrants in Guangdong. Good review of government policies and changes over time and of existing literature. Worked through local cadres and hired local research assistants. Available online by subscription.

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            Scholarly studies dealing with China’s domestic and international migration appear in several types of journals. First are journals that are devoted specifically to studies of China, the most important of which is the China Quarterly. A somewhat less formal but very topical publication is China Journal, from Australian National University. Second are international journals in the field of migration studies; good examples are International Migration Review and International Migration. Finally, research reports on case studies of Chinese migration are increasingly appearing in the journals of specific disciplines. Examples of this category are Environment & Planning A and Social Science & Medicine.

            Other Periodicals

            Information on current migration issues can be found in newspapers and periodicals published in China. A useful source for non-Chinese readers is China Daily, the official English-language newspaper. Renmin ribao (People’s Daily) is the official outlet of the Communist Party. Longer, more-detailed articles in English appear in the weekly Beijing zhoubao (Beijing Review). Readers of Chinese can find stories related to migration issues in local newspapers, such as Beijing ribao (Beijing Daily) and Beijing wanbao (Beijing Evening News), many of which have lively websites.

            Rural–Urban Migration

            The massive movement of labor from the countryside to China’s rapidly growing urban areas has caused major changes in the rural economy and society, as well as severe challenges for China’s policymakers. The range of issues that have been addressed by scholars is broad and diverse. Chan 1994 provides basic demographic information accompanied by explanations of difficulties with the official classification system. Guang 2001 reviews the history of governmental policies that restricted migration before the reforms, and post-reform efforts to accommodate but control migration. Li and Zahniser 2002 employs statistical analysis and a large-scale sample to estimate the importance of key variables in the decision to migrate. Liang 2001 uses national census data to give a good overview of temporary migration trends in the 1980s and 1990s. Ma and Xiang 1998 describes the interesting phenomenon of recent migrants clustering together in urban areas. Shan 2012 reports on 21st-century official aggregate data on the pace of urbanization. Solinger 1995 examines efforts to integrate migrants into official urban networks, in the face of the challenges migrants bring to urban stability. Wu 1994 provides a valuable, detailed explanation of the evolution of the household registration (hukou) system and its influence on migration.

            • Chan, Kam Wing. “Urbanization and Rural-Urban Migration in China since 1982: A New Baseline.” Modern China 20.3 (July 1994): 243–281.

              DOI: 10.1177/009770049402000301Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

              Demographic analysis of rural–urban migration patterns, focusing on problems with official classification of urban areas and estimates of net urban population change due to migration. Available online by subscription.

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              • Guang, Lei. “Reconstituting the Rural-Urban Divide: Peasant Migration and the Rise of ‘Orderly Migration’ in Contemporary China.” Journal of Contemporary China 10.28 (August 2001): 471–493.

                DOI: 10.1080/10670560120067144Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                Describes antimigration policies of the pre-reform era, their decline, and government efforts to manage migration in the current period. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                • Li, Haizheng, and Steven Zahniser. “The Determinants of Temporary Rural-to-Urban Migration in China.” Urban Studies 39.12 (November 2002): 2219–2235.

                  DOI: 10.1080/0042098022000033836Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                  Uses statistical analysis and a sample from the Chinese Household Income Project of 1995 to estimate the effects of education level, farm income, and farm size on the likelihood of young individuals migrating. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                  • Liang, Zai. “The Age of Migration in China.” Population & Development Review 27.3 (September 2001): 499–524.

                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2001.00499.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                    Provides a very good overview of temporary rural–urban migrant movements, on the basis of the 1987 and 1995 1-percent-sample surveys. Good list of sources. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                    • Ma, Laurence J. C., and Xiang Biao. “Native Place, Migration and the Emergence of Peasant Enclaves in Beijing.” China Quarterly 155 (September 1998): 546–581.

                      DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000049997Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                      Analyzes the rise in rural–urban migration within the context of the economic reforms and describes the tendency for migrants to live with other recent arrivers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                      • Shan Juan. “Rural Exodus to Cities Continues.” China Daily, 8 August 2012, 3.

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                        Cites data from third annual report of the National Population and Family Planning Commission.

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                        • Solinger, Dorothy J. “China’s Urban Transients in the Transition from Socialism and the Collapse of the Communist ‘Urban Public Goods Regime.’” Comparative Politics 27.2 (January 1995): 127–146.

                          DOI: 10.2307/422161Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                          Discusses simultaneous government attempts to incorporate migrants into official control systems, and the long-term destabilizing effects of migrants in cities. Available online by subscription.

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                          • Wu, Harry Xiaoying. “Rural to Urban Migration in the People’s Republic of China.” China Quarterly 139 (September 1994): 669–698.

                            DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000043095Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                            A valuable study that analyzes and explains the use of the hukou system to classify population as rural or urban and the changes that have affected the way urban population is calculated in China. Available online by subscription.

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                            Household Registration (hukou) and Migrants’ Legal Status

                            Research on the household registration (hukou) system and its influence on migration incentives and the lives of migrants includes efforts to define the system and its reforms, notably in Chan and Zhang 1999 and Wang 2004. Solinger 1999 provides a thorough overview of the contradictions in policies governing migrants, and their often-deplorable results. Guang 2005 contributes to the view of the state’s role as ambiguous, by describing cases where rural state-owned units have promoted migration to urban units. Yang 1993 uses statistical analysis to measure the effects on migration decisions of agricultural versus nonagricultural registration. Wu 2002 describes the effect of registration status on housing options for migrants in Beijing and Shanghai. Han 2010 contends that urban police practices toward migrants approach racism. Nielsen and Smyth 2008 presents extensive evidence of inadequate retirement security for migrant workers in urban factories.

                            • Chan, Kam Wing, and Li Zhang. “The Hukou System and Rural–Urban Migration in China: Processes and Changes.” China Quarterly 160 (December 1999): 818–855.

                              DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000001351Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                              Examines the changes in the household registration system since 1978 and the creation of new categories in efforts to manage rural–urban migration. Available online by subscription.

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                              • Guang, Lei. “The State Connection in China’s Rural-Urban Migration.” International Migration Review 39.2 (Summer 2005): 354–380.

                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2005.tb00270.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                Describes situations in which state-owned units in rural localities facilitate migration to urban state-owned units; argues that the state participates directly in migrant flows. Available online by subscription.

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                                • Han, Dong. “Policing and Racialization of Rural Migrant Workers in Chinese Cities.” Ethnic & Racial Studies 33.4 (April 2010): 593–610.

                                  DOI: 10.1080/01419870903325651Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                  Uses critical race theory to analyze urban police practices in dealing with rural migrants. Argues that they reinforce racial-like negative stereotypes and negative treatment of migrants. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                  • Nielsen, Ingrid, and Russell Smyth, eds. Migration and Social Protection in China. Series on Contemporary China 14. Singapore: World Scientific, 2008.

                                    DOI: 10.1142/9789812790507Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This collection of papers focuses on the problem of insufficient retirement income insurance for migrant factory workers. The authors include Chinese and foreign researchers. The study makes extensive use of official data and statistical analysis. Argues that China’s role as a major world manufacturer is threatened by workers’ income insecurity.

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                                  • Solinger, Dorothy J. Contesting Citizenship in Urban China: Peasant Migrants, the State, and the Logic of the Market. Studies of the East Asian Institute. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999.

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                                    Highlights the need for rural labor in the rapidly growing cities, and the rural population’s need for higher incomes, while describing the discriminatory policies that oppress many migrant workers and their families. Based on broad coverage of the literature, official documents, and original research.

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                                  • Wang, Fei-Ling. “Reformed Migration Control and New Targeted People: China’s Hukou System in the 2000s.” China Quarterly 177 (March 2004): 115–132.

                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0305741004000074Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                    This is a very useful description of the household registration system (hukou) and the changes that were made between 1997 and 2002. The author concludes that while some of the system’s restrictions have been greatly eased to promote development, major continuities remain, and that the function of controlling “targeted people”—those considered most undesirable—has actually been strengthened. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                    • Wu, Weiping. “Migrant Housing in Urban China: Choices and Constraints.” Urban Affairs Review 38.1 (September 2002): 90–119.

                                      DOI: 10.1177/107808702401097817Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                      Uses comprehensive housing surveys and interviews in Shanghai and Beijing to evaluate access to housing and relative quality of housing for rural migrants under the hukou system. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                      • Yang, Xiushi. “Household Registration, Economic Reform and Migration.” International Migration Review 27.4 (Winter 1993): 796–818.

                                        DOI: 10.2307/2546913Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                        Uses data on Zhejiang Province from the 1986 National Urban Migration Survey, supervised by the Population Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Finds that people with agricultural registration are less likely to migrate permanently and usually do so for noneconomic reasons. Those with nonagricultural registrations are more likely to migrate permanently. Available online by subscription.

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                                        Education of children is a top priority for Chinese families and for the government as well. Chen 2012 cites official data indicating that many migrants bring their children with them and many fail to attend school. Migration affects the access of children to education both positively and negatively. Hu 2012 finds both positive and negative effects of migration on left-behind children’s education. Workers send money home to enable their children to attend schools, but the lack of parents at home lowers attendance. Liang and Chen 2007 finds higher school attendance rates among children of long-term migrants than those of short-term migrants. Xia 2006 reviews the law concerning compulsory education and analyzes the difficulties faced by migrant children.

                                        • Chen Xin. “Migrant Children Have Greater Chance of Missing Out on School.” China Daily, 8 August 2012, 3.

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                                          Reports findings from the National Population and Family Planning Commission. Over 60 percent of migrants without residence permits, or hukou, in major cities have their children with them, and while some attend public school, many do not.

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                                          • Hu, Feng. “Migration, Remittances, and Children’s High School Attendance: The Case of Rural China.” International Journal of Educational Development 32.3 (May 2012): 401–411.

                                            DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.08.001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                            Uses national survey data to find that high-school attendance of left-behind children of migrants is negatively affected by the absence of parents but is positively affected by remittance income. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                            • Liang, Zai, and Yiu Por Chen. “The Educational Consequences of Migration for Children in China.” Social Science Research 36.1 (March 2007): 28–47.

                                              DOI: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2005.09.003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                              Uses 1995 One Percent Population Sample Survey to compare school attendance rates of children of temporary migrants, long-term migrants, urban residents, and rural nonmigrants. Finds that children of long-term migrants have highest rates; short-term migrants, the lowest. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                              • Xia Chunli. “Migrant Children and the Right to Compulsory Education in China.” Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights & the Law 7.2 (2006): 29–74.

                                                DOI: 10.1163/157181506779891465Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                Provides a valuable overview of the laws on compulsory education and their application to the children of migrant workers, followed by an explanation and analysis of the educational problems encountered by migrant children. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                Migrant Home Areas

                                                Most migrants leave home in order to help the family by sending back funds, and many intend to eventually return home to start a business or pursue a career. Studies of the effects of migration on home areas generally have been based on local surveys. The authors of Croll and Ping 1997 had excellent support from Chinese institutions in studying the varying impact of migration on agriculture in eight different home villages. Jacka 2012 provides a valuable review of the literature in Chinese journals, in support of a survey study of the impact of migrant remittances on the lives of women who remained at home. Ma 2001 also uses a survey to examine the relationship between migrant work and career choice after returning home. Mullan, et al. 2011 finds that China’s incomplete rural landholding rights inefficiently skew migration levels. Qin 2010 surveys rural residents in Chongqing Municipality to study the relationships among (1) families with and without migrants, (2) farming, and (3) the environment. Wang and Fan 2006 examines cases of returned failed migrants and the reasons for failure in urban settings. Woon 1999 (cited in Interview and Survey Studies) is a good example of the results of well-planned fieldwork conducted with local support, to determine the effects of government policies on the plans of temporary migrants in Guangdong Province. Yang 2001 finds some support for the interesting hypothesis that migration may serve as a means of circumventing the one-child family policy.

                                                • Croll, Elisabeth J., and Huang Ping. “Migration for and against Agriculture in Eight Chinese Villages.” China Quarterly 149 (March 1997): 128–146.

                                                  DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000043666Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  The authors worked with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Ministry of Agriculture, and other institutions to carry out studies in eight diverse villages in four provinces (Jiangsu, Anhui, Sichuan, and Gansu) to examine the effects of migration on agriculture. Concluded that it supplemented agriculture in prosperous areas, subsidized it in mid-income areas, and substituted for it in low-income areas. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                  • Jacka, Tamara. “Migration, Householding and the Well-Being of Left-Behind Women in Rural Ningxia.” China Journal 67 (January 2012): 1–22.

                                                    DOI: 10.1086/665737Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                    Study based on a survey conducted in a poor area of Ningxia Province, in collaboration with the local public health bureau. Includes a good review of the literature in Chinese journals on the topic. Concludes that higher incomes for households with migrant members do not translate into improved well-being of left-behind women, due to their kinship obligations. Available online by subscription.

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                                                    • Ma, Zhongdong. “Urban Labour-Force Experience as a Determinant of Rural Occupation Change: Evidence from Recent Urban-Rural Return Migration in China.” Environment & Planning A 33.2 (February 2001): 237–256.

                                                      DOI: 10.1068/a3386Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                      Survey study statistically analyzes the relationship between urban work experience and home area occupations of returned migrants. Available online by subscription or purchase.

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                                                      • Mullan, Katrina, Pauline Grosjean, and Andreas Kontoleon. “Land Tenure Arrangements and Rural–Urban Migration in China.World Development 39.1 (January 2011): 123–133.

                                                        DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2010.08.009Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                        Analyzes the effects of incomplete landholding rights in rural areas on migration. Concludes that migration is inefficiently reduced, particularly in forested areas.

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                                                        • Qin, Hua. “Rural-to-Urban Labor Migration, Household Livelihoods, and the Rural Environment in Chongqing Municipality, Southwest China.” Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal 38.5 (October 2010): 675–690.

                                                          DOI: 10.1007/s10745-010-9353-zSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                          Uses survey data from four villages in Chongqing to compare the effects on the local environment of households with migrant workers, nonmigrant households, and households that do not farm but have no migrants. Families with migrants and families that do not farm are found to have higher incomes and to reduce farming pressure on the environment.

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                                                          • Wang, Wenfei Winnie, and C. Cindy Fan. “Success or Failure: Selectivity and Reasons of Return Migration in Sichuan and Anhui, China.” Environment & Planning A 38.5 (May 2006): 939–958.

                                                            DOI: 10.1068/a37428Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                            Quantitative study of Sichuan and Anhui Provinces that focuses on migrant failure and reasons for return to home areas. Concludes that migrants are disadvantaged in urban environments and that overall success may be less than commonly believed. Available online by subscription.

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                                                            • Yang, Xiushi. “Are Temporary Migrants Escapees of the One-Child-Per-Family Population Policy: A Revisit to the Detachment Hypothesis.” Biodemography and Social Biology 48.1–2 (Spring–Summer 2001): 151–170.

                                                              DOI: 10.1080/19485565.2001.9989032Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                              Analyzes fertility differences between migrant and nonmigrant populations. Finds increased fertility among temporary migrants. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                              Family and Society

                                                              Migration inevitably alters families and society. Cong and Silverstein 2011 examines the economic relationship between parents and migrant sons. Goldstein, et al. 1997 finds more women heading households, due to male migration. Hoy 1999 interestingly finds evidence that female migration may affect child gender preference. Judd 2010 uses an ethnographic approach to evaluate family strategies in poor villages with populations decreasing due to migration. Kong 2012 also uses ethnography to examine changes in the social status of migrant male sex workers. Both Nielsen, et al. 2010 and Wen and Wang 2009 use surveys to assess the psychological conditions of migrant workers in cities. Palmer, et al. 2011 assesses influences on migrants’ likelihood of participating in urban community organizations.

                                                              • Cong, Zhen, and Merril Silverstein. “Intergenerational Exchange between Parents and Migrant and Nonmigrant Sons in Rural China.” Journal of Marriage and Family 73.1 (February 2011): 93–104.

                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2010.00791.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                Using a local survey in 2001 and 2003 in Anhui Province, the authors find that migrant sons transferred larger amounts of money to their parents in return for childcare services and financial assistance than did nonmigrant sons. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                • Goldstein, Alice, Zhigang Guo, and Sidney Goldstein. “The Relation of Migration to Changing Household Headship Patterns in China, 1982–1987.” Population Studies: A Journal of Demography 51.1 (March 1997): 75–84.

                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/0032472031000149746Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                  Analyzes data on migration and household composition from the 1982 census and the 1985 National Sample Survey to find that when males left the home, women often became household heads, in some cases permanently, especially in cities. This apparently reflects changing attitudes about the status of women. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                  • Hoy, Caroline S. “Gender Preference for Children and Its Consequences for Migration in China.” Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Human Geography 81.1 (1999): 41–53.

                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.0435-3684.1999.00047.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                    Provides a useful overview of the literature on female migration and reproductive decisions in general and in China, followed by the results of a survey of migrant women in Beijing. Results indicate that migration may affect child gender preferences toward natural levels. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                    • Judd, Ellen R. “Family Strategies: Fluidities of Gender, Community and Mobility in Rural West China.” China Quarterly 204 (December 2010): 921–938.

                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0305741010001025Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                      An ethnographic study of three poor villages in Sichuan and Chongqing, all with declining populations due to out-migration. Focuses on the family strategies of those who remain behind in the deteriorating local communities. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                      • Kong, Travis S. K. “Reinventing the Self under Socialism: Migrant Male Sex Workers (‘Money Boys’) in China.” Critical Asian Studies 44.2 (June 2012): 283–308.

                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2012.672829Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                        Describes urban survival strategies of migrant male sex workers, known as “money boys,” by using ethnographic case studies. Argues that their ambiguous status reveals contradictions between China’s new openness and lingering authoritarianism. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                        • Nielsen, Ingrid, Russell Smyth, and Qingguo Zhai. “Subjective Well-Being of China’s Off-Farm Migrants.” Journal of Happiness Studies 11.3 (June 2010): 315–333.

                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/s10902-009-9142-9Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                          Personal Well-Being Index survey was administered to a sample of migrant workers in four cities of Fujian Province. Scores indicated a moderate level of satisfaction with their lives, despite difficulties of living situations. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                          • Palmer, Neal A., Douglas D. Perkins, and Qingwen Xu. “Social Capital and Community Participation among Migrant Workers in China.” Journal of Community Psychology 39.1 (January 2011): 89–105.

                                                                            DOI: 10.1002/jcop.20419Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                            Uses data from a 2006 survey of migrant workers in seven cities to statistically analyze determinants of migrants’ likelihood of participating in community organizations. Neighborhood interaction and organizational social capital were significant. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                            • Wen, Ming, and Guixin Wang. “Demographic, Psychological, and Social Environmental Factors of Loneliness and Satisfaction among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in Shanghai, China.” International Journal of Comparative Sociology 50.2 (April 2009): 155–182.

                                                                              DOI: 10.1177/0020715208101597Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                              Uses data from Fudan University migrant worker survey to statistically test influences on migrant workers’ feelings of loneliness and well-being. Finds that mental satisfaction is negatively affected by discrimination and is positively affected by family contact. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                              Women’s Issues

                                                                              Valuable introductions to the large and growing literature on women migrants appear in Davin 1999 and Fan 2008 (both cited under General Overviews). Yang and Guo 1999 uses a 1988 survey to contrast motivations of male and female migrants. Roberts, et al. 2004 argues that women migrate more frequently and at older ages than assumed in earlier stereotypes. Jacka 2006 complements this view with evidence gathered from a diverse group of women migrants in Beijing. Yan 2008 examines urban societal changes through the experiences of women migrants employed as urban domestic workers. Migration for the purpose of marriage seems to be primarily a female phenomenon, which is analyzed through interviews in Bossen 2007 for rural-to-rural migrants. Fan and Huang 1998 also looks at rural women migrating to other rural areas for marriage, using a sample of the 1990 census. May 2010 focuses on migration of rural women seeking urban marriages as a family strategy that often fails. Yi, et al. 2010 examines the predominately female population of migrants who turn to prostitution, to evaluate the differences in vulnerability to HIV/AIDS of urban sex workers in different occupational settings.

                                                                              • Bossen, Laurel. “Village to Distant Village: The Opportunities and Risks of Long-Distance Marriage Migration in Rural China.” Journal of Contemporary China 16.50 (February 2007): 97–116.

                                                                                DOI: 10.1080/10670560601026843Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                Studies cases of rural women migrating long distances to marry in other rural areas. The article makes extensive use of prior studies and includes an excellent review of the literature on marriage practices and migration. Examines special problems of long-distance rural brides, by using interviews from field research in Henan Province and Yunnan Province. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                • Fan, C. Cindy, and Youqin Huang. “Waves of Rural Brides: Female Marriage Migration in China.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 88.2 (June 1998): 227–251.

                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/1467-8306.00092Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                  Reviews marriage practices and roles in China and uses a 1-percent sample of the 1990 census to statistically evaluate causes and results of female marriage migration. Finds that disadvantaged women in poor rural areas can improve their economic prospects by moving to more advantageously located rural areas, through networks of family and marriage brokers. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                  • Jacka, Tamara. Rural Women in Urban China: Gender, Migration, and Social Change. Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2006.

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                                                                                    Describes the lives of a diverse group of migrant women, on the basis of fieldwork interviews carried out in Beijing with members of the Migrant Women’s Club and residents of Haidian District. Shows the insecurity of migrants’ lives and the wide range of rationales for migrating.

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                                                                                  • May, Shannon. “Bridging Divides and Breaking Homes: Young Women’s Lifecycle Labour Mobility as a Family Managerial Strategy.” China Quarterly 204 (December 2010): 899–920.

                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0305741010001013Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                    Describes migration by young women from a village in Northeast China, to work in cities, as a family strategy aimed at an urban marriage and increased family security. Finds that many of these women became disappointed and returned home to work the family land. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                    • Roberts, Kenneth, Rachel Connelly, Zhenming Xie, and Zhenzhen Zheng. “Patterns of Temporary Labor Migration of Rural Women from Anhui and Sichuan.” China Journal 52 (July 2004): 49–70.

                                                                                      DOI: 10.2307/4127884Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                      Using a sample survey conducted by the Chinese Population and Information Research Center in Anhui Province and Sichuan Province, the article concludes that by the late 1990s many single women migrated for work multiple times, and many married women also migrated, in some cases with their children. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                      • Yan Hairong. New Masters, New Servants: Migration, Development, and Women Workers in China. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2008.

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                                                                                        Examines women migrant domestic workers in urban settings and uses their experiences to analyze the changes emerging in Chinese society due to the market-based economic system and its implications for class relationships.

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                                                                                      • Yang, Xiushi, and Fei Guo. “Gender Differences in Determinants of Temporary Labor Migration in China: A Multilevel Analysis.” International Migration Review 33.4 (Winter 1999): 929–953.

                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/2547358Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                        Data from 1988 migration survey in Hubei Province are analyzed, and it is found that for men, temporary migration depends mainly on community-level influences, while for women individual characteristics are more important. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                        • Yi, Huso, Joanne E. Mantell, Rongrong Wu, Zhao Lu, Jing Zeng, and Yanhai Wan. “A Profile of HIV Risk Factors in the Context of Sex Work Environments among Migrant Female Sex Workers in Beijing, China.” Psychology, Health & Medicine 15.2 (March 2010): 172–187.

                                                                                          DOI: 10.1080/13548501003623914Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                          Study is based on information from a sample of 348 migrant female sex workers in Beijing. Finds that economic disadvantages push many migrant women into sex work, where they face high vulnerability to HIV, police arrest, and abuse. Differentiates according to work environments: entertainment establishments, personal services, street locations.

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                                                                                          Medical Issues

                                                                                          The process of migration is physically and mentally stressful. Migrants leave their homes and families, travel under arduous and often unhygienic conditions, and have to adapt to a new environment and exposure to diseases that are less common in the rural home areas, notably AIDS. Hu, et al. 2008 provides a good overview of the health problems associated with rural–urban migration, noting that since migrants are usually the healthiest rural workers, their move to the cities reduces the average level of rural health. Chen 2011 uses a survey in Beijing to evaluate the assumption that migrants are relatively healthy and finds that it is supported for physical health but not for mental health, due partly to inadequate access to care because of the household registration system. Li and Wu 2010 examines health of long-term migrants in Beijing on the basis of social status. Smith 2005 gives a good overview of the role of urbanization and migration in the rise and geographic spread of HIV/AIDS in China since the 1980s. Yang and Xia 2006 argues that women who are short-term migrants are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior and contract AIDS than nonmigrant women. He, et al. 2007 reports on a qualitative study of drug use and HIV/AIDS infection among migrant male sex workers as compared to heterosexual male migrants.

                                                                                          • Chen, Juan. “Internal Migration and Health: Re-examining the Healthy Migrant Phenomenon in China.” Social Science & Medicine 72.8 (April 2011): 1294–1301.

                                                                                            DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2011.02.016Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                            Uses a 2009 household survey in Beijing to statistically analyze the relationship between migrant status and self-perceived physical and mental health of migrants. Finds that physical health is better than average, but mental health is worse than average. Calls for changes in the household registration system for equal access to care. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                            • He, N., F. Y. Wong, Z. J. Huang, E. E. Thompson, and C. Fu. “Substance Use and HIV Risks among Male Heterosexual and ‘Money Boy’ Migrants in Shanghai, China.” AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV 19.1 (January 2007): 109–115.

                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/09540120600888394Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                              A qualitative study of the relationship between drug use and HIV/AIDS infection among heterosexual male migrants and male commercial sex workers in Shanghai. Finds that sex workers, or “money boys,” on average have slightly better economic conditions, better AIDS knowledge, and use drugs more but have higher levels of infection. Concludes that public health remediation efforts should distinguish between these groups. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                              • Hu, Xiaojiang, Sarah Cook, and Miguel A. Salazar. “Internal Migration and Health in China.” Lancet 372.9651 (15 November 2008): 1717–1719.

                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61360-4Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                A brief but useful overview of health issues involved in rural–urban migration. Pays particular attention to communicable diseases, maternal health, and occupational diseases and accidents. Migrants are poorly informed and at greater risk for all three. On the other hand, migrants tend to be the healthiest rural residents, leaving the countryside in worse health on average and complicating recent national efforts to provide comprehensive health insurance and care. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                • Li, Yan, and Shufang Wu. “Migration and Health Constraints in China: A Social Strata Analysis.” Journal of Contemporary China 19.64 (March 2010): 335–358.

                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1080/10670560903444272Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                  Studies health-care behavior among long-term migrants in a migrant enclave in Beijing. Finds that more-affluent migrants have better access to care, but that all suffer from nonresident status. Reports that many turn for care to illegal private clinics with dubious qualifications. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                  • Smith, Christopher J. “Social Geography of Sexually Transmitted Diseases in China: Exploring the Role of Migration and Urbanisation.” Asia Pacific Viewpoint 46.1 (April 2005): 65–80.

                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8373.2005.00260.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                    Discusses the spread of HIV/AIDS in China since the mid-1980s and examines its relationship to urbanization and domestic migration. Notes that lifestyle changes accompanying urbanization may intensify prevalence of HIV/AIDS and that circular migration can increase its geographic distribution. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                    • Yang, Xiushi, and Guomei Xia. “Gender, Migration, Risky Sex, and HIV Infection in China.” Studies in Family Planning 37.4 (December 2006): 241–250.

                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4465.2006.00103.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                      Examines the relationship between migration and risky sexual behavior. Finds that short-term migrant women are much more likely to engage in casual or commercial sex than nonmigrant women, and they are therefore more vulnerable to HIV infection. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                      Mental Health

                                                                                                      Separation from home and family and the effort required to succeed have caused psychological difficulties for many migrants and for their family members as well. Chinese and foreign researchers have conducted numerous survey studies, most of them published in disciplinary journals such as Social Science & Medicine. Li, et al. 2007 finds that in Zhejiang Province, migrant workers apparently have levels of mental health problems that are no higher than for nonmigrants. Mou, et al. 2011, on the other hand, concludes from a survey of migrant workers in Shenzhen that their depressive symptoms are relatively high and correlated with working conditions and migrant status. Wang, et al. 2010 examines stress related to discrimination among migrants in Beijing. Wong and Leung 2008 compares the role of social support in relieving stress for male and female migrant workers in Shanghai. Liu, et al. 2009 examines the relationship between the age of children left behind by migrant parents and rates of anxiety and depression. Hwang, et al. 2007 analyzes stress among residents forced to move by the Three Gorges Dam project.

                                                                                                      • Hwang, Sean-Shong, Juan Xi, Yue Cao, Xiaotian Feng, and Xiaofei Qiao. “Anticipation of Migration and Psychological Stress and the Three Gorges Dam Project, China.” Social Science & Medicine 65.5 (September 2007): 1012–1024.

                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.05.003Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                        A sample survey of people to be displaced by the project and of others who would not be displaced finds that anticipation of displacement is a strong predictor for stress, which is not reduced proportionately by resources controlled by the subjects. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                        • Li, Lu, Hong-mei Wang, Xue-jun Ye, Min-min Jiang, Qin-yuan Lou, and Therese Hesketh. “The Mental Health Status of Chinese Rural–Urban Migrant Workers: Comparison with Permanent Urban and Rural Dwellers.” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology 42.9 (September 2007): 716–722.

                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1007/s00127-007-0221-0Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                          Questionnaire administered to large samples of migrant workers and resident urban workers in Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province, and to rural residents in Western Zhejiang Province. Results indicate that migrant workers’ mental health is comparable to that of nonmigrants. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                          • Liu, Zhengkui, Xinying Li, and Xiaojia Ge. “Left Too Early: The Effects of Age at Separation from Parents on Chinese Rural Children’s Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression.American Journal of Public Health 99.11 (November 2009): 2049–2054.

                                                                                                            DOI: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.150474Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                            Uses data gathered on a questionnaire survey of rural students in Anhui Province, Chongqing Municipality, and Guizhou Province. Found that those whose parents had left them when migrating to cities at younger ages experienced higher rates of anxiety and depression.

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                                                                                                            • Mou, Jin, Jinquan Cheng, Sian M. Griffiths, Samuel Y. S. Wong, Sheila Hillier, and Dan Zhang. “Internal Migration and Depressive Symptoms among Migrant Factory Workers in Shenzhen, China.” Journal of Community Psychology 39.2 (March 2011): 212–230.

                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1002/jcop.20428Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                              Administered a questionnaire to a large group of migrant factory workers in Shenzhen City. Found high levels of depressive symptoms that were positively correlated with minority status, short stays, long working hours, and higher education levels. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                              • Wang, Bo, Xiaoming Li, Bonita Stanton, and Xiaoyi Fang. “The Influence of Social Stigma and Discriminatory Experience on Psychological Distress and Quality of Life among Rural-to-Urban Migrants in China.” Social Science & Medicine 71.1 (July 2010): 84–92.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.021Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Data were collected from migrants in Beijing in 2004–2005, who were asked about experienced discrimination, preparation for migration, coping with stress, quality of life, and psychological distress. Found that both successful management of stress and preparation before migrating reduced distress. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                • Wong, Daniel Fu Keung, and Grace Leung. “The Functions of Social Support in the Mental Health of Male and Female Migrant Workers in China.” Health & Social Work 33.4 (November 2008): 275–285.

                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1093/hsw/33.4.275Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                  A sample of migrant workers surveyed in Shanghai to study the effects of social support in relieving mental stress caused by migration. Male migrants were found to have a much higher level of mental unhealthiness than females (25 percent to 6 percent). Instrumental support helped male migrants, while esteem support was helpful for females. Concludes that development of social networks should be encouraged. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                  Geographers, using primarily national census data, have focused on the regional distribution effects of migration. He and Pooler 2002 compares migration rates of different provinces and the role of gender on migration distribution. Wang 2008 examines the fascinating question of how migration affects fertility rates. Wu 2008 analyzes the influences that affect migrant settlement patterns within Shanghai. Xu and Zhu 2009 assesses the change in city size distribution caused by migration in the 1990s.

                                                                                                                  • He, Jiaosheng, and Jim Pooler. “The Regional Concentration of China’s Interprovincial Migration Flows, 1982–90.” Population & Environment 24.2 (November 2002): 149–182.

                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1023/A:1020796004763Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                    Statistically evaluates the regional differences in migration between provinces, by using the 1987 One Percent Population Survey and the 1990 National Population Census. Finds that Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, and Hunan Provinces are particularly important in migrant distribution, and that migration of women tends to be more regionally concentrated than that of men. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                    • Wang, Jiamin. “China’s Regional Disparity in Demographic Transition: A Spatial Analysis.” In Special Issue: Regional Development in China. Review of Regional Studies 38.3 (Winter 2008): 289–317.

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                                                                                                                      Uses official data to analyze the effects of migration and differences in economic growth on fertility rate changes in China’s different regions, according to the standard international literature on the relationship between fertility and economic development. Finds that areas with higher incomes have higher compliance with the one-child policy and are also likely to be home to more migrants.

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                                                                                                                      • Wu, Weiping. “Migrant Settlement and Spatial Distribution in Metropolitan Shanghai.” Professional Geographer 60.1 (February 2008): 101–120.

                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/00330120701724210Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                        Analyzes migrant residence location in Shanghai and its relationship to the city’s spatial development. Uses data from the 2000 Population Census, 1996 Basic Establishment Census, and a 1999 migrant housing survey to assess influences on migrant location. Private factories and prior presence of migrants draw new migrants; housing availability seems not to be significant. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                        • Xu, Zelai, and Nong Zhu. “City Size Distribution in China: Are Large Cities Dominant?” Urban Studies 46.10 (September 2009): 2159–2185.

                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1177/0042098009339432Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                          Analyzes the rapid growth in cities due to migration in the 1990s. Finds unexpectedly that small cities grew faster than large ones. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                          Many of China’s minority populations inhabit remote, impoverished regions. Like other rural Chinese, large numbers of them have moved to the growing, affluent cities of the coast, in some cases clustering in distinct enclaves. Iredale, et al. 2001 provides an overview of migration by major ethnic groups and their urban clusters in Beijing. Liu 2011 examines the negative side effects of migration by young men of the Yi minority, in the form of heroin use and HIV/AIDS. Chio 2011 analyzes the changing worldviews of returned minority migrants in areas of heavy tourism. Paik and Ham 2012 focuses on the decline in population due to migration of Korean minority autonomous areas in Northeast China. Some minority areas have experienced large inflows of majority Han Chinese. Hansen 1999 argues that the political groundwork for post-reform Han settlement in minority areas of the Southwest was laid in the 1950s. Shen and Lein 2005 finds that Han immigration in Xinjiang has altered land and water use in unsustainable ways.

                                                                                                                          • Chio, Jenny. “Leave the Fields without Leaving the Countryside: Modernity and Mobility in Rural, Ethnic China.” Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power 18.6 (November–December 2011): 551–575.

                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1080/1070289X.2011.672858Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                            An ethnographic analysis of concepts of mobility held by minority migrants who had returned to their villages, which had become destinations of domestic tourism. Based on interviews and case studies. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                            • Hansen, Mette Halskov. “The Call of Mao or Money? Han Chinese Settlers on China’s South-western Borders.” China Quarterly 158 (June 1999): 394–413.

                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000005828Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                              Argues that officially organized Han Chinese migration into minority areas in the 1950s and 1960s created political legitimization for the post-reform movements into the same areas. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                              • Iredale, Robyn R., Naran Bilik, Wang Su, Fei Guo, and Caroline Hoy. Contemporary Minority Migration, Education and Ethnicity in China. Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2001.

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                                                                                                                                This collaborative volume reviews the secondary literature on the topics then presents case studies on Mongols, Tibetans, Uyghurs, and the ethnic minority communities in Beijing.

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                                                                                                                              • Liu, Shao-hua. Passage to Manhood: Youth Migration, Heroin, and AIDS in Southwest China. Studies of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2011.

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                                                                                                                                An anthropological study of a Nuosu community of the Yi minority people in southern Sichuan, describing the recent rapid spread of HIV/AIDS and heroin use, largely due to migration to urban areas by marginalized youth. Finds that official efforts to deal with the problems have been counterproductive.

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                                                                                                                              • Paik, Wooyeal, and Myungsik Ham. “From Autonomous Areas to Non-autonomous Areas: The Politics of Korean Minority Migration in Contemporary China.” Modern China 38.1 (January 2012): 110–133.

                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1177/0097700411424566Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                Describes the movement of two-thirds of the Korean Chinese from ethnic autonomous areas, resulting in weakened status there and in efforts to establish new official and civil organizations in new areas of concentration. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                • Shen, Yuling, and Haakon Lein. “Land and Water Resources Management Problems in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China.” Norwegian Journal of Geography 59.3 (September 2005): 237–245.

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                                                                                                                                  Describes extensive changes in Xinjiang’s population size and distribution, land use, and water use caused by massive in-migration from other parts of China and by accompanying development of agriculture and irrigation. Concludes that current policies of land and water use are not sustainable. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                  Involuntary Migration

                                                                                                                                  While the great majority of migrants have moved voluntarily in pursuit of economic opportunities, a substantial number of Chinese families have had to move as a result of public construction projects. The best-known examples include the millions displaced by the Three Gorges Dam and dozens of other hydroelectric projects. Other situations in which people have had to relocate include the demolition of traditional, one-story housing (hutongs) in cities such as Beijing to make room for new roads or buildings. Croll 1999 provides valuable insights into government decision making, which were obtained through a remarkable series of interviews with bureaucrats. Hwang, et al. 2011 contains the results of a field study of the effects of displacement by the Three Gorges Dam on the well-being of residents. Lou 2007 focuses on land rights laws and the impact of requisitioning on rural women.

                                                                                                                                  • Croll, Elisabeth J. “Involuntary Resettlement in Rural China: The Local View.” China Quarterly 158 (June 1999): 468–483.

                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1017/S0305741000005865Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                    Describes planning and implementation of official resettlement programs for two major public works projects, on the basis of interviews with officials. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                    • Hwang, Sean-Shong, Yue Cao, and Juan Xi. “The Short-Term Impact of Involuntary Migration in China’s Three Gorges: A Prospective Study.” Social Indicators Research 101.1 (March 2011): 73–92.

                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1007/s11205-010-9636-1Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                      Surveyed a sample of people displaced by the Three Gorges Dam project, before and after the move, along with a control group. Found significant reductions in well-being, despite improvements in housing quality. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                      • Lou, Peimin. “A Case Study on the Settlement of Rural Women Affected by Land Requisitioning in China.” Journal of Contemporary China 16.50 (February 2007): 133–148.

                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/10670560601026876Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                        Provides a thorough explanation of China’s land rights laws and requisitioning practices. Studies requisition effects by means of a questionnaire administered in economic development zones in Sichuan Province, Zhejiang Province, and Shanghai Municipality. Finds that women are disadvantaged more than men due to lower rates of attaining education and retraining. Author is a research professor in the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                        Comparative Studies

                                                                                                                                        Migration offers many opportunities for comparisons of the effects of the policy regimes and economic systems of different countries. Goldstein 1987 argues that land rights and barriers to mobility in China have caused higher levels of short-term domestic migration than in Thailand. Landolt and Da 2005 compares Chinese families in Australia with refugee families from El Salvador in the United States. Liang, et al. 2008 compares migration from Fujian Province to New York with migration from Mexico. Meng, et al. 2010 gives initial results from an ambitious project consisting of detailed studies of rural–urban migration in Indonesia and China. Portes and Zhou 2012 discusses the rising influence on the authors’ home countries’ governments of Chinese and Mexican immigrant organizations in the United States. Roberts 1997 shows interesting parallels between rural–urban migration in China and undocumented Mexican immigration in the United States. Solinger 1999 makes the case that foreign workers in Germany and Japan have more rights than do rural migrants in Chinese cities.

                                                                                                                                        • Goldstein, Sidney. “Forms of Mobility and Their Policy Implications: Thailand and China Compared.” Social Forces 65.4 (June 1987): 915–942.

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                                                                                                                                          Compares the role of domestic labor migration in the different economic-development strategies of Thailand and China. Finds that Chinese policies have resulted in a great increase in temporary rural–urban migration. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                          • Landolt, Patricia, and Wei Wei Da. “The Spatially Ruptured Practices of Migrant Families: A Comparison of Immigrants from El Salvador and the People’s Republic of China.” Current Sociology 53.4 (July 2005): 625–653.

                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/0011392105052719Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                            Builds on the literature on international immigrant family practices, by comparing case studies of refugee immigrant families from El Salvador in the United States with those of middle-class families from China who migrated to Australia. Finds that in both countries the spatially dispersed families make adjustments because of the importance of migrant remittances to family income. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                            • Liang, Zai, Miao David Chunyu, Guotu Zhuang, and Wenzhen Ye. “Cumulative Causation, Market Transition, and Emigration from China.” American Journal of Sociology 114.3 (November 2008): 706–737.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1086/592860Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Analyzes migration from Fujian Province to New York City, by using hypotheses from the international migration literature and surveys both in Fujian and New York. Compares the results to an earlier study of migration from Mexico.

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                                                                                                                                              • Meng, Xin, Chris Manning, Li Shi, and Tadjuddin Noer Effendi, eds. The Great Migration: Rural–Urban Migration in China and Indonesia. Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar, 2010.

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                                                                                                                                                A unique collection of studies, comparing rural–urban migration patterns in China and Indonesia. The chapters on China are based on well-designed surveys, insightfully analyzed. The surveys are to continue, and the results will be published in the future.

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                                                                                                                                              • Portes, Alejandro, and Min Zhou. “Transnationalism and Development: Mexican and Chinese Immigrant Organizations in the United States.” Population & Development Review 38.2 (June 2012): 191–220.

                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2012.00489.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                Discusses the growing influence and interactions with home country governments of US immigrant organizations of Mexican and Chinese expatriates. Based on a comparative study with interviews of leaders and discussion of policy implications. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                • Roberts, Kenneth D. “China’s ‘Tidal Wave’ of Migrant Labor: What Can We Learn from Mexican Undocumented Migration to the United States?” International Migration Review 31.2 (Summer 1997): 249–293.

                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/2547220Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                  Makes the interesting argument that rural–urban migration in China shares key characteristics with undocumented migration from Mexico to the United States because both are primarily circular in nature, not permanent, due to barriers to remaining at the destination and to land rights in the home areas. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                  • Solinger, Dorothy J. “Citizenship Issues in China’s Internal Migration: Comparisons with Germany and Japan.” Political Science Quarterly 114.3 (Fall 1999): 455–478.

                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.2307/2658206Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                    Compares the human rights situations of migrant rural workers in Chinese cities with those of foreign migrant workers in Germany and Japan. Notes that migrant labor has been essential to national economic success in all three countries, but that Chinese migrant workers actually receive fewer rights than foreign workers in Germany and Japan. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                    International Migration

                                                                                                                                                    The combination of rapid economic growth with the policy stance of opening China’s markets to interaction with foreign countries has resulted in high and rising levels of migration both out of and into China throughout the reform era. Emigration from China is far larger than Immigration to China and is likely to remain so, but flows of labor into China reflect its growing importance as a major force in the world economy.

                                                                                                                                                    Emigration from China

                                                                                                                                                    Historically, Chinese people have gone abroad to study, to work, or to engage in business, primarily in the United States and Southeast Asia. In recent years, more emigrants have been going to Europe, Japan, Africa, and neighboring countries, including Russia. Liu-Farrer 2009 describes students finding ways to stay and work in labor-deficit Japan. Prosvirnov 2009 addresses trade-driven cross-border migration into Siberia. Sautman and Yan 2007 gives an overview of the interesting growth in migration between China and Africa. Thunø and Pieke 2005 assesses the role of criminal labor brokers in a deeply entrenched movement to Europe from a rural village in Fujian Province. Xiang 2012 looks at legal international labor agencies and finds them key to the Chinese government’s migration control apparatus. Thunø 2007 is a collection of papers on changes in emigration patterns and the rising influence of overseas Chinese. Yan and Sautman 2012 debunks the myth of exported prison labor. Zhang 2003 describes the new trend of highly educated Chinese migrating to Europe for careers.

                                                                                                                                                    • Liu-Farrer, Gracia. “Educationally Channeled International Labor Mobility: Contemporary Student Migration from China to Japan.International Migration Review 43.1 (March 2009): 178–204.

                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2008.01152.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                      Introduces the concept of migration for education as an important channel of labor migration around the world and illustrates with the case of Chinese student migrants in Japan. Argues that skilled and educated former students contribute to the economy of Japan and facilitate ties with China.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Prosvirnov, Sergei. “Migration between the Amur Region and China at the Turn of the 21st Century.Far Eastern Affairs 37.2 (2009): 62–72.

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                                                                                                                                                        Examines recent cross-border migration between China’s Northeast and Russia’s Far East. Finds no support for claims that China is expanding into Russia demographically, and concludes that Chinese migration has the potential to contribute to development in the region.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Sautman, Barry, and Yan Hairong. “Friends and Interests: China’s Distinctive Links with Africa.African Studies Review 50.3 (December 2007): 75–114.

                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1353/arw.2008.0014Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                          Discusses China’s rapidly growing economic involvement with Africa, as a donor and investor as well as a source of migrants, and increasingly as a destination of African migrants, both in long-established roles as students and in more-recent trends toward entrepreneurship. Concludes that many Africans view China as less exploitative than Western nations.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Thunø, Mette, ed. Beyond Chinatown: New Chinese Migration and the Global Expansion of China. Papers presented at the Fifth Conference for the International Society for the Study of Chinese Overseas (ISSCO), held in Copenhagen in May 2004. IAS Studies in Asian Topics 41. Copenhagen: NIAS, 2007.

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                                                                                                                                                            A collection of papers presented at an international conference on overseas Chinese in 2004, including authors from China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. Examines the changes in migration from China and the roles of overseas Chinese as China has become a major economic power.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Thunø, Mette, and Frank N. Pieke. “Institutionalizing Recent Rural Emigration from China to Europe: New Transnational Villages in Fujian.” International Migration Review 39.2 (June 2005): 485–514.

                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1111/j.1747-7379.2005.tb00275.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                            Examines the role of organized crime and “snakehead” labor brokers in migration to Europe from Fujian Province. Based on fieldwork among Chinese immigrants in Europe, by the authors, and in two villages in Fujian, by a Chinese researcher. Concludes that while human trafficking is serious, it is a small portion of a much larger migration flow embedded in local society and traditions. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Xiang, Biao. “Predatory Princes and Princely Peddlers: The State and International Labour Migration Intermediaries in China.” Pacific Affairs 85.1 (March 2012): 47–68.

                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.5509/201285147Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                              Describes efforts by the Chinese government to reduce and control the role of private international labor market agencies and their mutually dependent relationship with the government. Ethnographic analysis concludes that the private agencies constitute part of the governance structure. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Yan Hairong, and Barry Sautman. “Chasing Ghosts: Rumours and Representations of the Export of Chinese Convict Labour to Developing Countries.” China Quarterly 210 (June 2012): 398–418.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.1017/S0305741012000422Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                Assesses the persistent rumor that Chinese companies use convict labor in foreign projects. Concludes there is no basis for the rumors, but that they are unlikely to disappear because of unquestioning reporting by the media. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Zhang, Guochu. “Migration of Highly Skilled Chinese to Europe: Trends and Perspective.International Migration 41.3 (2003): 73–97.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1111/1468-2435.00242Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Describes and analyzes recent trend of highly educated Chinese to migrate to Europe for career opportunities, not just as students. This is a departure from the long-standing tendency for elite Chinese to migrate mainly to the United States and reflects higher educational levels in China and more-balanced relations between China and other economic powers.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Immigration to China

                                                                                                                                                                  Pieke 2012 makes the case that while China has been seen primarily as a country that sends migrants out to more-prosperous economies, it will become a major destination of various types of international migrants over the next few decades. The interesting phenomenon of African immigrant communities in China is addressed in Bodomo and Teixeira-E-Silva 2012 and in Haugen 2012. A long-term problem for China, the illegal influx of refugees from North Korea, is described in Lankov 2004. The practice of low-income Chinese emigrants sending young children back to China to live with grandparents is analyzed in Kwong, et al. 2009. A very different group of immigrants, highly educated professionals from Singapore and Britain, are studied in Yeoh and Willis 2005.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Bodomo, Adams, and Roberval Teixeira-E-Silva. “Language Matters: The Role of Linguistic Identity in the Establishment of the Lusophone African Community in Macau.” African Studies 71.1 (April 2012): 71–90.

                                                                                                                                                                    DOI: 10.1080/00020184.2012.668294Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                    Qualitative study finds that the community in Macau of Africans from Portuguese-speaking countries is particularly strong due to its shared languages. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Haugen, Heidi Østbø. “Nigerians in China: A Second State of Immobility.” International Migration 50.2 (April 2012): 65–80.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2435.2011.00713.xSave Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      Describes conditions for Nigerian immigrants in Guangzhou, most of whom came to China after failing to migrate to Europe. Results of qualitative and participant observation study find that police controls and visa restrictions limit the movements of many. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Kwong, Kenny, Henry Chung, Loretta Sun, Jolene C. Chou, and Anna Taylor-Shih. “Factors Associated with Reverse-Migration Separation among a Cohort of Low-Income Chinese Immigrant Families in New York City.” In Special Issue: Harmony in Chaos: Social Work Responses to Issues Arising from a Changing and Stressful World, Part 1. Social Work in Health Care 48.3 (April 2009): 348–359.

                                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.1080/00981380802599174Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                        Survey of 219 immigrant Chinese women in New York finds that over half the families send children back to live with family members in China until they reach school age. Determinants and effects are analyzed. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Lankov, Andrei. “North Korean Refugees in Northeast China.” Asian Survey 44.6 (November–December 2004): 856–873.

                                                                                                                                                                          DOI: 10.1525/as.2004.44.6.856Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                          Describes the sharp increase in illegal migration by North Koreans to China, many of them to join relatives or marry in Northeast China, others to attempt, usually unsuccessfully, to move to South Korea. Focuses on policies and interests of the three states involved. Available online by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Pieke, Frank N. “Immigrant China.” Modern China 38.1 (January 2012): 40–77.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1177/0097700411424564Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            Thoroughly researched both in the Chinese and international literature, this valuable article examines and calls attention to China’s growing importance as a destination of international migrants, roughly classified as students, professionals, businesspeople and traders, Chinese return migrants, cross-border migrants, and “fortune seekers.” Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Yeoh, Brenda S. A., and Katie Willis. “Singaporean and British Transmigrants in China and the Cultural Politics of ‘Contact Zones.’” In Special Issue: Ordinary and Middling Transnationalisms. Journal of Ethnic & Migration Studies 31.2 (March 2005): 269–285.

                                                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.1080/1369183042000339927Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                              Compares the cross-cultural adaptation practices in major Chinese cities of highly educated professional immigrants from Singapore and Britain, on the basis of interviews. Available online for purchase or by subscription.

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