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China's Rural Migrant Workers: Social Transition and Cultural Practice

Funding: 2010: $55,000
2011: $50,000
2012: $65,000

Project Member(s): Sun, W.

Funding or Partner Organisation: Australian Research Council (ARC Discovery Projects)

Start year: 2010

Summary: China s economic growth and social liberalization has transformed the ways Chinese people conceive of their identity as citizens. The transformation has been most dramatic among China s vast population of migrant workers that move between rural and urban areas. This project explores the emergence of new migrant subjectivities as these marginalised and highly mobile workers create distinct cultural practices through using media and communication technologies. Researching their experiences, as inflected by gender and locality, is vital to understanding the prospects for China s internal stability in times of economic stress, while also informing wider debates about cultural citizenship.


Lei, W, Gorfinkel, L & Sun, W 2016, 'The Urban-Rural Divide in China's Cultural Industries: The Case of Chinese Radio' in Keane, M (ed), Handbook of Cultural and Creative Industries in China, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp. 259-275.
View/Download from: Publisher's site

Sun, W 2016, 'Cultural Politics of Class: Workers and Peasants as Historical Subjects' in Guo, Y (ed), Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp. 107-127.

Sun, W 2015, 'Workers and Peasants as Historical Subjects: The Formation of Working Class Media Cultures in China' in Rawnsley, G & Rawnsley M-Y (eds), Routledge Handbook of Chinese Media, Routledge, London, pp. 239-249.

Sun, W 2015, 'Editorial', China Perspectives, no. 2015, 2, pp. 3-5.

Sun, W 2015, 'Remembering the Age of Iron: Television dramas about Chinese workers in the socialist era', China Perspectives, no. 2, pp. 33-42.

Keywords: China; rural migrants; gender; cultural consumption;

FOR Codes: Consumption and Everyday Life, Culture, Gender, Sexuality, Globalisation and Culture, Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society, Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare