A sociological study into the hopes and fears of one of China’s most vulnerable groups
Guo Yu is a sociology Ph.D. candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park in the US. During a recent research project in China which focused on attitudes of migrant workers, Guo sought to explore a more nuanced look at their thoughts through an ethnographic approach and found that stereotypes failed to represent their complex attitudes.
Can you briefly summarize your research goals? What were some key issues you explored in your interviews?
My goal was to investigate how rural migrant workers subjectively perceived their current situations. Based on theories and scholarly research, rural migrant workers are seen as exploited by capital and dominated by the state. I wanted to know how the migrant workers themselves looked at their own work and lives.
In the Minds of Migrant Workers is a story from our issue, “Taobao Town.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.