migrant workers Tag

In 2013, Zhang Kaiqin, Wu Dan, Liu He, Lei Sheng, and I opened Handshake 302, an independent art space located in a 12.5-square-metre efficiency apartment in Baishizhou—Shenzhen’s most iconic urban village. The space functions as a gallery or an apartment, depending on the needs of...

Beijing’s eviction of migrants from their dwellings in November 2017 left tens of thousands homeless within days. It was rightly seen not as a legitimate response to a fire hazard but a convenient opportunity to slow down the urban growth of the capital. This poses...

In response to a deadly fire in a Beijing neighbourhood inhabited mostly by migrant workers, the authorities of the Chinese capital launched an unprecedented wave of evictions. Without any notice, migrants who often had spent years in the capital were told to leave their habitations...

In today’s China, migrant workers are commonly perceived as criminals. This essay examines how this bias is reflected in mechanisms of crime control, as well as in the judicial and correctional systems. It also looks into the strategies adopted by migrants to cope with this...

China’s manufacturing model has been built on the exploitation of migrant workers under a despotic labour regime. But is that still the case? Based on extensive research in the Chinese garment sector, this essay argues that while draconian controls persist up to this day, the situation...

The increasing precariousness of labour forces globally has prompted some to argue that a new ‘precariat’ is emerging to challenge the privileges of the securely employed ‘salariat’. This divergence within the working class has been depicted as more significant than the traditional conflict between labour...

This essay outlines the development of Dongxiaokou, an urban village on the outskirts of Beijing that until recently was home to a massive population of migrant workers. The story of Dongxiaokou provides insights into the process of commodification of land in China, highlighting the tension...

Andrew Kipnis’ new book, From Village to City: Social Transformation in Chinese County Seat (University of California Press, 2016), paints an extraordinary portrait of Zouping, a county in Shandong province, challenging our current understandings of modernity and putting forward a new theory of urbanisation. We...

Rural-to-urban migrants in China are often depicted as being poor, uncivilised, and having a lower level of ‘human quality’ than those with urban household registration. Policy-makers carefully strategise in order to produce rural-to-urban migrants as a homogeneous category. However, the use of this term obscures...