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The Effect of Rural Factors on Migrant Integration in China /

Abstract

This dissertation examines the integration of rural-to- urban migrant workers in the People's Republic of China through the lens of rural factors. Although there is a commonly held belief that migrants' marginalization in the cities is a result of urban policies which exclude them from urban society in general and urban public services specifically, the dissertation argues that rural factors such as land rights play a role in migrants' marginalization by perpetuating incentives for migrants to maintain contact with the rural areas. Based on thirteen months of fieldwork in China, the dissertation uses survey data and interviews with migrant workers, rural workers, government officials, and other experts to support the argument that rural factors influence migrant integration in China. The dissertation goes on to argue that the effects of rural factors in conjunction with policy variation across cities has important consequences for recent policy proposals regarding urbanization. Finally, the dissertation explores the question of citizenship in the Chinese context, arguing that while rural policies have consequences for the prospects for active citizenship in urban areas, new technologies offer important new ways for marginalized people to engage their communities

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