Under The Dual System: Children Of Rural-Hukou Migrants In China
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This dissertation examines the plight of children of rural-hukou migrants in contemporary China through using a rural-urban dual system perspective. Since the 1950s, after adopting the Stalinist development strategy, Chinese society has been divided into two parts: an urban society and a rural society through the implementation of the hukou system, which officially classifies Chinese citizens into two classes: rural-hukou holders and urban hukou holders. This dissertation contends that the rural-urban dual system has persisted through the present time and Chinese development is still based on the sacrifice of farmers. Unlike the Maoist Era when most farmers had no freedom of seeking urban employment, farmers are now allowed to work in the city. They are however “in the city but not of the city” because of the persisting dual system that still ties them to the countryside. Consequently, studying the plight of children of rural-hukou migrants in China has to start from examining the Stalinist root of Chinese development. This dissertation starts with outlining the root of Chinese development in the 1950s and elaborates the evolution of the dual-system-based development strategies under not only Mao but Deng. This dissertation explores under the rural-urban dual system, how a dual education system was created and maintained in one country and the education predicament of children of rural-hukou migrants in the major cities like Beijing and Shanghai. This dissertation further examines the “left-behind children” and argues they are “institutional orphans” in fact, pointing out that family-breakup is a new form of poverty. This study makes contribution to both the Third World development studies and China studies through shedding light on the political economy of Chinese development and rural-urban relations.
- Geography