“To the migrant workers, the old home is what they strive hard for in a distant city, hoping to refurbish and to live in with their children after retirement. What an irony that this home, to their children, had crumbled right after their parents migrated.”
Since the mid-1980s, more and more rural Chinese leave their home villages to look for jobs in the city, leaving behind their family as well as their mother tongues and identities. They sacrifice and endeavour for the dream of a better world―a world of material abundance.
Nevertheless, the increasingly commercialized and commoditized society of China and the ever growing needs for money have made the efforts of these workers insignificant. While trying hard to meet the living standard of the better-off China, these workers remain as the “marginalized” dwellers of the city.
The rural migrant workers leave their family and strive in the cities to pursue a complete home and better living conditions, but the irony is that their children, instead of having strong attachment to their home, wish to be recognized in new grounds when they grow up.
Want to have a more comprehensive picture on the lives of rural migrant workers in China? Click here and read the full text of Dr. Chen's article published in the Anthropologists on the Road Series of Hong Kong Discovery (Vol.81).