Negotiating a Concurrence: Tracing the Visible/Invisible Relocation within Migrant-Inhabited Cities of China

Xueni Peng
Jin Baek


Abstract: It is essential for us to illuminate the specific role and adaptation of China’s internal migrants who have experiences not entirely different to those suffered by overseas immigrants. A number of reasons convince us to draw this conclusion, including, the large gap in income compared to local workers, sharing different cultural values to native residents, and the noticeably lower living standards between the areas of origin and the migrants’ destinations.

China’s internal migrants experience hardship akin to those undergone by overseas immigrants. In this respect, migration in China is an experience that begins before people move away from their place of origin and continues long after arriving in their new home destinations. As a unique feature of migration research, national relocation is not simply crossing a geographical boundary, but also transgressing social and psychological environment barriers. Our research intends to examine the underestimated or marginal character played by such outsider crowds with special regard given to the individual’s experience of ‘unfamiliar settlements. This involves exploring the role of migrants’ transformation through the misapprehension that relocation is merely a geographical movement. We suggest that visible relocation brings other incidental replacements (such as changes in identity, psychological cognition and social cohesion). 

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