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Lamb Buddha's migrant workers: self-assertion on China's urban fringe

Lamb Buddha's Wanderarbeitnehmer: Selbstbehauptung in einem chinesischen Vorort
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Griffiths, Michael Brian

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Abstract This paper presents an analysis of the everyday practices of individuality among the migrant workers with whom I worked at 'Lamb Buddha', a hotpot restaurant in Anshan City, Liaoning Province, during the summer of 2007. The majority of the data comes from four young men, meaning that the analysis complements extant studies of Chinese female migrant workers by allowing male-gendered inflections of discourse prominence. The paper examines the internal structure of 'symbolic boundaries' drawn and managed in judgements, positioning statements, and so forth, attempting to regress the modalities by which these migrants assert themselves, thus showing how individuality arises from a discursive environment structured by relation to similar peers and distinctly different others.
Keywords China; rural population; migrant worker; identity; city-country relationship; labor migration; town; urban population; cultural factors; living conditions; hotel and restaurant trade; job; everyday life; consumption; individual; distinction; individuality; social class
Classification Sociology of Developing Countries, Developmental Sociology; Migration, Sociology of Migration
Method empirical; qualitative empirical
Free Keywords Sociology; anthropology; individuals; identity; rural population; migrant workers; consumption; boundary; distinction; North-East; Liaoning Province; Anshan City; Contemporary; Qualitative Data
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 3-37
Journal Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 39 (2010) 2
ISSN 1868-4874
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works