confucius institute

In Search of Urban Dream for Migrants in China

Presenter: Dr. Juhua Yang (杨菊华教授), Renmin University of China
Date: Friday, April 15, 2016
Time: 12:30pm–2:00pm
Location: Massry Center for Business - BB 121

Large-scale internal migration has been one of the most salient sociodemographic phenomena in the reform era China. As of 2015, migrants accounted for about 18 percent of China's total population. Why do so many people leave their hometowns and search for their dreams in cities, especially metropolis? How do they do in pursuing their dreams? Can they succeed?

This lecture will provide an overall picture on internal migration and the journey of migrants in search of urban dreams. It first presents macro background of migration in the past 30 years, rural-urban divides and regional disparities in income and infrastructure in education and health, which motivate people from the countryside to move to cities and from small cities to metropolis. It then describes the changing size of migrants over time and some basic characteristics at the individual level and household levels, as well as the colorful dreams that people pursue. Following that it introduces how migrants, in different generations, do in terms of income, social security, housing, children's education and assimilation or integration at the place of destination. Finally, it will discuss barriers that prevent migrants from achieving their dreams, with a particular focus on the unique hukou registration system and relevant policies attached to it, and propose some solutions in order to facilitate migrants to realize their dreams.

[About the Presenter] 

Dr. Juhua Yang graduated from the Department of Sociology at Brown University, and is currently a Professor of Demography at the Center for Population and Development Studies, School of Sociology and Demography in Renmin University of China. Her current research focuses on social wellbeing and its articulation with social change (e.g., population change, social transition and economic transformation). Specifically, she is interested in the determinants and consequences of internal migration (e.g., the wellbeing of the family and individuals involved), gender inequality throughout individuals’ life course, and policy issues in China. Broadly, she asks how individuals respond to socioeconomic and political changes at the macro level; how macro change may reshape household contexts where individuals are embedded and interact.

Dr. Yang has recently published books Migrants and the Urban Dream in China (upcoming), Migration and Economic Integration (2013), Advanced Social Statistics in Stata (2012), Population Change and Poverty among the Elderly (2011), Fertility Policy and Sex Ratio at Birth in China (first author, 2009), Social Statistics and Data Management: Application of Stata (2008), and Beyond Birth Control: Fertility Policy and Children’s Wellbeing in Transitional China (VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, 2008). She has also published numerous research articles related to the family, migration and integration, gender inequality, children and elderly wellbeing, and fertility policy, submitted policy reports to government agencies, and won national and international awards.

This event is jointly sponsored by the UAlbany Confucius Institute and the Urban China Research Network at the University at Albany