, Volume 50, Issue 3, pp 76–82

Chinese Women Migrants and the Social Apartheid

  • Au Loong-Yu
  • Nan Shan
Local/Global Encounters


Au Loong-yu and Nan Shan examine the conditions of the women among the 150 million migrant workers who have left the rural areas in search of jobs in China. They underline that fierce social regression has accompanied Chinese enormous economic growth where women migrants particularly are exploited in ‘the ‘world's greatest sweatshop’. They argue that hukou system or household registration has proved to be as useful to ‘capitalist construction’ as it once was for ‘socialist construction’. It now acts a powerful force for pressing down the wages of rural migrants and preventing them from getting better jobs in the cities.


hukou export trade zones state sector resistance social divisions 

Further reading

  1. Chan, Anita (2001) Chinese Workers under Assault, ME Sharpe.Google Scholar
  2. Dagong Diaocha, Zhongguo Nongmin (2005) Investigation on Chinese Rural Migrants Workers, Chinese Communist Party School Publishing House.Google Scholar
  3. Dangdai Zhongguo, Shehui Liudong (2004) in Lu Xueyi (ed.) Social Mobility in Contemporary China, Social Sciences Documentation Publishing House.Google Scholar
  4. Gongren Jieji, Xinchanye (2005) ‘The Class of New Industrial Workers’, Xie Jianshe, Social Sciences Academic Press.Google Scholar
  5. Hart-Landsberg, Martin and Paul Burkett (2004) ‘China and Socialism, Market Reforms and Class Struggle’, Monthly Review 56 (3) (July–August).Google Scholar
  6. Unpublished interviews conducted by the authors of this paper.Google Scholar
  7. Walder, Andrew G. (1986) Communist Neo-traditionalism: Work and Authority in Chinese Industry, University of California Press.Google Scholar
  8. Zhidu, Huji (2006) ‘On Household Registration System’, Lu Yilong Commercial Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for International Development 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Au Loong-Yu
  • Nan Shan

There are no affiliations available

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