Children are precious in China especially as its population ages rapidly. The unprecedented fast urbanization and massive internal migration have profoundly changed almost every aspect of society. They have impacted the livelihood of children of migrants most. Because of the hukou system and related policies, China’s internal migrants face major obstacles to assimilate into cities. But more than that, as this book shows, these policies have also torn families apart on a scale unseen heretofore. More than 100 million children grow up in unstable families and the great majority have suffered from prolonged separation from their parents in the migratory upheaval.
This book provides an updated analysis of this mega and painful process unfolding at various geographical scales. The chapters revolve around the central notion of family togetherness, or the lack thereof. The book measures, dissects, and analyses the impacts of migration on children and recommends policies to address major problems from a variety of disciplinary perspectives employing different methodologies. The problems faced by the children of migrants remain enormous, and it is a looming huge crisis in the making. If unaddressed, those problems can damage a whole generation with serious consequences.
The chapters in this book were first published in Eurasian Geography and Economics.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Children of migrants and China’s future
Kam Wing Chan and Yuan Ren
1. China’s precious children
Kam Wing Chan
2. Children of migrants in China in the 21st century: trends, living arrangements, age-gender structure, and geography
Kam Wing Chan and Yuan Ren
3. Leaving children behind: a win-win household strategy or a path to pauperization?
4. From left-behind children to young migrants: the intergenerational social reproduction of rural migrant labor in China
5. Demolition of Chengzhongcun and social mobility of Migrant youth: a case study in Beijing
Miao Li and Yihan Xiong
6. Rural–urban divide and identity conflicts of migrant Muslim students in Northwest China
7. Rural-to-urban migration and adolescent delinquent behaviors: evidence from Hunan and Guangdong in China
Weixiang Luo, Yuying Tong & Nicole W.T. Cheung
8. The impacts of parental migration on children’s subjective well-being in rural China: a double-edged sword
Ke Shen and Yuan Zhang
Kam Wing Chan is Professor of Geography at the University of Washington. He is a leading expert on China's urbanization, migration, and the household registration (hukou) system.
Yuan Ren is Professor at Fudan University’s School of Social Development and Public Policy, and a senior researcher at the Institute of Population Research.