The social networks of new-generation migrants in China's urbanized villages: A case study of Guangzhou

Ye Liu*, Zhigang Li, Werner Breitung

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    98 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The integration of rural migrants into China's urban society has drawn extensive attention in recent years. There are, however, a growing number of new-generation migrants whose prospects of integration cannot be gleaned from the experience of their predecessors the old-generation migrants. The reconstruction of migrant network is a lens through which one can examine the extent and pattern of their integration. In this paper, using quantitative data derived from a survey of eight urbanized villages in Guangzhou, we examine the socio-spatial pattern of migrant networks and the role of receiving neighborhoods in social interactions, with a focus on inter-generational differences. The findings show that new-generation migrants are more likely to draw on cross-class, non-kin, and non-territorial networks when seeking social support, but that hometown-based bonds and the urbanite-migrant divisions remain central to their social networks. For the role of receiving neighborhoods, although new-generation migrants have weak neighborly interactions, they construct numerous colleagues and friendship ties that transcend the boundaries of neighborhoods. Moreover, educational attainment, income level, and occupation structure are important determinants of the nature of new-generation migrant networks. The results suggest that generational factors should be highly considered when studying the integration of migrants into Chinese urban society. Accordingly, the integration of migrants into the urban society will be a conflictual and contradictory process. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)192-200
    Number of pages9
    JournalHabitat international
    Volume36
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

    Keywords

    • New-generation migrants
    • Social network
    • Urbanized villages
    • Social integration
    • Guangzhou
    • INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION
    • SEGMENTED ASSIMILATION
    • TEMPORARY POPULATION
    • GLOBAL CITIES
    • LOS-ANGELES
    • WEAK TIES
    • SELF-HELP
    • BRITISH
    • 2ND-GENERATION
    • NEIGHBORHOODS

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