Based on in-depth ethnographic research - and using an approach that seeks to understand how migration is experienced by the migrants themselves - this is a fascinating study of the experiences of women in rural China who joined the vast migration to Beijing and other cities at the end of the twentieth century. It focuses on the experiences of rural-urban migrants, the particular ways in which they talk about those experiences, and how those experiences affect their sense of identity. Through first-hand accounts of actual migrant workers, the author provides valuable insights into how rural women negotiate rural/urban experiences; how they respond to migration and life in the city; and how that experience shapes their world view, values, and relations with others. The book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the relationship between gender and social change, and of the ways in which globalization and modernity are experienced at the most personal level.
Introduction: From the "Margins" to the "Center"; Part One. The Subject; 1. Between "Rural Idiocy" and "Urban Modernity"; 2. Assembling Working Sisters; Part Two. Place; 3. In and Out of Place; 4. The Place of Desire; Part Three. People; 5. Relationships; 6. Identifications; Part Four. Time; 7. Narrative, Time, and Agency; Appendix 1. List of Interlocutors Named in the Text; Appendix 2. Map 1. The People's Republic of China Map 2. Beijing Municipality.