Migrant youths in Beijing: A life history analysis of class reproduction

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6 Scopus citations


This study utilizes life history analysis to explore the class reproduction process among migrant youths in Beijing, the capital city of China. Eight migrant youths were interviewed about their life histories using a life-line interview methodology. Results showed that these migrant youths could be classified into four groups based on their residential location and the duration of their residence in Beijing, each representing distinctive characteristics. Limited family educational background, poor quality of school education and unstable community environment were common experiences among the youths. In addition, the hukou system and other social policies that restricted education opportunities for these migrant youths contributed to the class reproduction process. Thus, the current education system, family background and social policy all adversely affect the opportunities of migrant youths to choose different life paths from their parents. This article then offers suggestions for changes in policy formulation and social services to improve social mobility for migrant youths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • class reproduction
  • hukou policy
  • life history analysis
  • migrant families
  • migrant youths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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