Male Migrant Workers and the Negotiation of ‘Marginalized’ Masculinities in Urban China

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter



Publication details

Title of host publicationMarginalized Masculinities
DateAccepted/In press - 7 Apr 2017
Place of PublicationNew York
EditorsChris Haywood, Thomas Johansson
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Electronic)978-0415347570
ISBN (Print)0415347572


Recent years have witnessed growing debates on integration and social inequalities as a result of the expanding scale of rural-urban migration in China. It is seen as a major social phenomenon in contemporary Chinese society. At the same time, it has raised a range of inter-connecting issues in relation to the issue of marginalization, such as, exclusion, inequality and social justice. The chapter aims to address an underdeveloped field of inquiry, exploring the lives of a group of socially marginalized men – male migrant workers. The chapter examines the rural men’s narratives of their migrating experience in urban China, with particular reference to their gendered experiences and practices in relation to their familial lives. In so doing, it sets out to respond critically to public representations of migrant workers as ‘marginalized’ others in the discourse of modernization, marked by progress and development. In turn, the chapter contributes to an understanding of marginalization in the context of rural migrating men as both social exclusion and symbolic otherness, within the context of the reconfiguration of the relation between tradition and modernity at a time of rapid globally-inflected changes.

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