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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Politics of Place Making in Shenzhen, China

  • Author(s): Clark, Constance
  • et al.

This paper examines the politics of place making in the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, pan of an emerging network of production centers in South China. Rapidly developed from a border town to a major city through transnational linkages of capital and kinship, the zone is a desired destination for migrant youth from all over China searching for work and experiences in the city. Temporary workers make up 66 percent of the Shenzhen population, yet many lack the proper skills and cultural •capital• to compete in the transitional economy. Authorities ' attempts to forge a collective sense of place among its diverse immigrant groups have been largely unsuccessful, as Shenzhen is n o t one but many places shaped by differences of class, native place, and household registration status.

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