1st Edition

Rural-Urban Migration in China The Impact of New Media

By Zheng Xin Copyright 2023

    This book attempts to document and analyse the complicated role new media play in the adaptation and integration of China’s new generation of migrant workers.

    By analysing the interviews and observations of more than 500 migrant workers under the age of 25 between 2010 and 2015, the author tries to understand how new media shape the experiences of this significant group of people at different stages of their lives. This study profiles the daily life of this new generation of migrant workers and examines the intricate connections between media and the reconstruction of migrant workers’ identity, as well as their urban life adaptation and social inclusion. Not only is their interaction with new media a key factor in decisions to migrate to the city in the first place, but it continues to play a crucial role in how their outlook on life, sense of identity, lifestyle, personal relationships, and aspirations change as they navigate their new environment.

    These findings reveal the impact of new media on China’s accelerating urbanization and modernization. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of contemporary China studies, and those who are interested in the urbanization of China in general.

    1. Introduction: Exploratory Communication Studies on How the New Generation of Migrant Workers Adapts to Urban Life 

    2. Media Mirror Image: The New Generation of Rural Migrant Workers’ Imaginary City Life 

    3. My Mediatized "Looking-glass Self": Identity Construction Among the New Generation of Rural Migrant Workers 

    4. Media-driven Planning for Life Among the New Generation of Rural Migrant Workers 

    5. Escaping Isolated Islands: Interpersonal Communication of the New Generation of Migrant Workers 

    6. “Opening the Lock and Scaling the Wall": Information Literacy Among the New Generation of Migrant Workers 

    7. The Media as Capital: Continuing Education Among the New Generation of Migrant Workers 

    8. Media Support: Professional Adaptation Among the New Generation of Migrant Workers 

    9. Media Experience: The Leisure Life of the New-Generation of Migrant Workers 

    10. Blending in With City Lives Through Consumption 

    11. Ruptures and Bridges: Cultural Identity Among Rural Migrant Workers


    Dr Zheng Xin is Professor at the School of Journalism and Communication, Nanjing University, China. He has researched extensively in the fields of communication sociology, rural communication studies, youth culture, and applied communication. He has published more than 50 articles, and received a number of awards, including China’s Ministry of Education’s New Century Distinguished Scholar Award.