Migrant Workers and the City

Generation Now

by Huang Chuanhui  foreword by Henry Veltmeyer  translated by Anna Beare  

In this refreshingly open and enlightening book we hear the stories and hopes for the future from the people who live in the basements of cities across China.

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  • September 2016
  • ISBN: 9781552668955
  • 256 pages
  • $26.00
  • For sale in Canada
  • For sale in United States
  • EPUB October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781552669167
  • $25.99
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  • Not for sale in Rest of world
  • Kindle October 2016
  • ISBN: 9781552669174
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About the book

Awarded the Excellent Copyright Output Award by the Chinese Publishers Association.

Fascinating…a must-read for academics, students and a general public interested in the situation of rural migrants in China. - Raúl Delgado Wise

Today China has the second largest economy in the world. The largest human migration in history has fueled this rapid growth as people move from the countryside to work in China’s fast growing industrial cities. But China is changing. Today’s migrants from the countryside are a world apart from their fathers and grandfathers who made the same journeys to the metropolis in search of work decades before them. The older generation made the journey with every expectation of returning to the countryside once they had made some money. Todays generation, better educated and connected by technology, expects higher wages from working in cities than is the reality. These workers do not want to return home to work on the farm, so they frequently take employment that is precarious and poorly paid.

In this refreshingly open and enlightening book we hear the stories and hopes for the future from the people who live in the basements of cities across China.

International Politics Labour & Unions


Huang Chuanhui

Huang Chuanhui, a National First-Class Writer, is a winner of the Zhuang Chongwen Literary Award and the author of I Want to Go to School and Chinese Navy. He lives in Beijing.

Henry Veltmeyer

Dr. Veltmeyer lived and worked for six years in south America before coming to Canada to pursue a doctoral program in Political Science and subsequently (in 1976) beginning his academic career in the Sociology Department at St. Mary’s University. He has participated in the university’s Atlantic Canada Studies program and founded the program in International development in 1985. He also served for eight years as Coordinator of this program in addition to eight years as chair of the Sociology Department. Currently he has an academic appointment in the PhD program of Development Studies at the Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico and annually engages in an extended program of research and public lectures across Latin America. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of International Development Studies and serves on the editorial board of Studies in Political Economy and a number of international journals in his major field of research-the political economy of international development. Dr. Veltmeyer conducts research, writes and teaches about diverse issues related to the political economy and sociology of development, with a particular focus on issues of Latin American development, globalization processes, government policies, alternative models and approaches and social movements. Since 2000 he has authored/co-authored and edited 13 books and 25 scholarly refereed articles that have been published in Canada, the US, the UK, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Ecuador. Several of these books, written in English or Spanish, have received awards and have been translated into other languages - among them Portuguese, Italian, Tugalese and German. In addition to these scholarly books, several of which have achieved international recog-nition and/or special awards and distinctions, 25 of Dr. Veltmeyer’s scholarly articles since 2000 have been published in some of the most prestigious academic journals in his field or by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development. Places of publication include Canada, the US, the UK, Australia, Argentina, Mexico, the Netherlands and Switzerland


  • Author’s Foreword
  • Three Generations of Migrant Workers
  • From Tarpaulin Bags to Suitcases
  • Youth on Scaffolds
  • Picun Village Culture
  • “Luo Lian Runs Away” and “The Foxconn Suicides”
  • Bitter Love, Bitter Marriage
  • Help Them Bloom
  • May Their Future Not Just Be a Dream
  • Postscript


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