Peasants on the move: patterns of and perspectives on labour migration in Zhejiang Province: A case study of Zhili Town, Huzhou Municipality

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Norton, Sean G.
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University of Guelph

This thesis is an investigation of rural to urban migration in Zhejiang province, specifically, Zhili Town, Huzhou Municipality. A review of the literature on rural-urban segregation and the state of migration in China, both before and after the reforms that began in 1978, is provided, as is a discussion of the past and current role of the household registration ('hukou ') system. The analysis suggests that rural migrants are keeping ties with their native communities, and of those interviewed, nearly all intend to return "home" after reoccurring and often extended periods of out-migration. This thesis explores circular migration in China, and presents a theoretical model for why peasants circulate back and might choose to want to return to live permanently in their native villages. The potential for circular migration is examined in terms of reverse push and pull factors based on native-place attachment, class and stratification, and the state of economy.

peasants, labour migration, Zhejiang Province, China, circular migration