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An investigation of rural migrants' happiness status in Changsha city: A trial of social urban planning in China's second-tier cities
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

China has among the world’s fastest growing urban region and faced enormous environmental and social challenges that requires a forward thinking of urban planning, which integrates environmental sustainability and social equity into urban resilience. In China, national and provincial urban policies have long focused on economic and industrial developments, whereas social welfare was not account for urban planning until very recently. After decades of rapid socioeconomic development, China has now entered an urbanization stage at which social development becomes as urgent as economic and environmental transformation. Rural migrant as a lower social group is a product of China’s rigorous rural-urban household registration (Hukou) that has caused plenty of social tragedies. Although governmental authorities have vowed to elevate rural migrants’ social status, as a heterogeneous social group, rural migrants received very little research attention by far. To examine rural migrants’ demographic information and their social status, this research employs happiness as a theme to carry out a questionnaire survey. In total, 1,267 responses were collected at bus and train stations in Changsha, a second-tier city located in the middle of China. According to the survey, rural migrants’ happiness status is in close relation with some demographic characteristics such as gender, ethnicity and education. In general, men are unhappier than women; the ethnic minorities are unhappier than the ethnic majority-Han; and the highly educated are unhappier than those with lower educational attainment. By performing a stepwise regression, statistics uncover that rural migrants’ happiness status in Changsha is positively associated with a stable income, a job with insurance and a well sustained family tie. Based on the study results, I propose three suggestions for social urban planning in China’s second-tier cities: (1) to set up a commercial district that embraces diverse ethnic groups, where the minor ethnic rural migrants can work and live with their own cultures. (2) To gather rural migrants by industry and establish labour unions that can represent for rural migrants’ interests. (3) To maintain the discriminated Hukou system, but define Hukou identity based on rural migrants’ taxation conditions.



Keywords: rural migrants, demographic characteristics, happiness factors, social urban planning



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 94 p.
Keyword [en]
rural migrants, demographic characteristics, happiness factors, social urban planning
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-271194OAI: diva2:891342
Educational program
Master Programme in Global Environmental History
Available from: 2016-01-08 Created: 2016-01-06 Last updated: 2016-01-08Bibliographically approved

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Department of Archaeology and Ancient History
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