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The City in ChinaNew Perspectives on Contemporary Urbanism$
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Ray Forrest, Julie Ren, and Bart Wissink

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529205473

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529205473.001.0001

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A Study of Socio-spatial Segregation of Rural Migrants in Shenzhen

A Study of Socio-spatial Segregation of Rural Migrants in Shenzhen

A Case of Foxconn

Chapter:
(p.185) 10 A Study of Socio-spatial Segregation of Rural Migrants in Shenzhen
Source:
The City in China
Author(s):

Zhigang Li

Shunxian Ou

Rong Wu

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781529205473.003.0010

To decode cities, Robert Park brought two issues into consideration, segregation and migration, which are also key to understanding the Global South cities today, such as Shenzhen, the laboratory of post-reform China. Similar to Chicago, Shenzhen is a well-known prospering ‘migrant city’, where we identified marked sociospatial segregation of rural migrants. Unlike Chicago, however, the segregation of migrants in Shenzhen is largely determined by some institutional factors such as hukou system, the urban and rural dualism, and its ‘world factory’ regime. Moreover, through the examination of Shenzhen’s Foxconn complex, we identified some difficulties encountered by migrants in integrating into Shenzhen or returning to their hometowns, that is, becoming either urbanities or returnees. Rural migrants have been stuck in a specific status of in- between urban and rural. This supports the argument of Park who stated that the city is a ‘psychophysical mechanism’, in which physical space and human sentiments interact. From Chicago in 1916 to Shenzhen in 2016, the segregation of migrants is still a major challenge for cities to address.

Keywords:   Sociospatial segregation, Rural migrants, Foxconn, Shenzhen, Chicago

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