People's Mobility and "Guanxi" Networks: A Case Study
The increase in the movement of people from rural to urban areas since the mid-1980s represents the largest labor migration ever experienced in China. Because migration is a process of selection, it is imperative that the major dynamics determining the selection are studied. What are the critical characteristics of migrants that help them to realize their mobility from rural areas to urban areas? While educational attainment, gender, age, marital status and personal skills are important variables in the selection process, the present paper examines how social networks ("guanxi" connections) play a significant role in the process of migration selection in China. A case study from one of the northern villages in rural China is used to explore how social networks have shaped and given meaning to migration. The present paper elaborates on how people's social mobility has coincided with and been reinforced by people's physical mobility. Copyright (c) 2008 The Author Journal compilation (c) 2008 Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
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Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
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