Handbook of Welfare in China
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Handbook of Welfare in China

Edited by Beatriz Carrillo, Johanna Hood and Paul Kadetz

The Handbook is a timely compilation dedicated to exploring a rare diversity of perspectives and content on the development, successes, reforms and challenges within China’s contemporary welfare system. It showcases an extensive introduction and 20 original chapters by leading and emerging area specialists who explore a century of welfare provision from the Nationalist era, up to and concentrating on economic reform and marketisation (1978 to the present). Organised around five key concerns (social security and welfare; emerging issues and actors; gaps; future challenges) chapters draw on original case-based research from diverse disciplines and perspectives, engage existing literature and further key debates.
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Chapter 11: Urban welfare and social justice: individual perspectives of highly educated rural-to-urban migrants in the city of Guangzhou

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.

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