, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 73-81
Date: 13 Jun 2008

Mobile Cultures of Migrant Workers in Southern China: Informal Literacies in the Negotiation of (New) Social Relations of the New Working Women

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In this paper, we analyze the data collected through in-depth interviews of migrant workers in Southern China about their mobile cultures. In particular, we focus on understanding the role that mobile cultures play in female workers’ negotiation of their social and romantic relations and leisure space and how these negotiations are directly or indirectly facilitated by development of informal literacies through their frequent short message service communicative practices. These will help us understand the lifestyle aspirations and life trajectories of the new young working women in China who are experiencing the most rapid socioeconomic changes in society and negotiating their ways of life amidst much tension between old and new values governing lifestyle aspirations, familial, and gender relations.