The Urbanization of People: Politics of Development, Labor Markets, and Schooling in the Chinese City
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Eli Friedman, International and Comparative Labor, Cornell University - This talk is centrally concerned with identifying the mechanisms that China’s megacities have used to manage the flow of people, investigating the ways in which bureaucratic rules are implemented and resisted in practice, and the social consequences of this regime of governance. Based on more than two hundred and fifty interviews with parents, teachers, and administrators in “migrant schools” in Beijing, Guangzhou, and Chengdu, Professor Friedman gains insight into a key site of informalized social reproduction for ruralites in urban China. Professor Friedman refers to the urban state’s approach to managing population flows as “just-in-time urbanization,” in which the aim is to admit just the right qualities and quantities of labor at just the right time. While this utopian vision of a frictionless union of the appropriate qualities and quantities of labor and capital in space and time can never be realized, the social implications of this strategy are profound and grim: a new socio-spatial hierarchy is taking shape in which elite cities are reserved for elites, and nominally public services such as education are reserved for those who need them least.
Video of full lecture with presentation slides edited into the video.
Cornell East Asia Program
East Asia Program, Cornell University
history; East Asia; China; urbanization; citizenship
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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