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Kimiko Suda

The precarious housing and working situation of rural-to-urban migrant graduates (vocational college or university education) – colloquially known as the ‘ant tribe’ – has been discussed in China´s public media since the first two reports on this social group were published by the Beijing-based scholar Lian Si in 2009 and 2010. Against the background of current Chinese debates on the distribution of urban public resources and social injustice, this chapter presents a localised picture of the welfare access of migrant graduates in the southern city of Guangzhou. It investigates different factors (e.g. household registration and human and social capital) affecting migrant graduates’ access to urban employment and to the urban social insurance system. It further examines how they cope with the lack of access to welfare, and concludes by putting forward some policy suggestions to increase the level of access to welfare services for this social group.