A new working class in the making? The rise of the peasant workers and implications for social policy in China

Ka Ho, Joshua MOK, King Lun NGOK

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The major objective of this article is to critically examine changes in social stratification and social mobility of the peasant workers in the post-Mao period, with particular reference to examine whether and how the selected peasant workers in Dongguan city in South China have asserted themselves in protecting their labour rights.; Methods: The present studies is based upon intensive policy and documentary analysis, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions and survey in getting first-hand data from conducting fieldwork in China.; Participants: Migrant workers in Dongguan city in South China.; Results: Although peasant workers are becoming more concerned with their economic and social rights, they have not attempted to organize themselves as organized social organizations in protecting their own interests. Despite the fact that peasant workers may have a greater awareness of the interests as a social group, such a consciousness has not been developed into a distinct class identity.; Conclusions: Without a distinct class identity, coupled with a lack of organized social forces in asserting their class interests, peasant workers have not formed themselves into an organized social class right now, especially as many of them still consider themselves having a peasant status instead of obtaining a new citizenship associated with working in urban China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-256
Number of pages16
JournalWork: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


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