柯蕾给法国开发署博客的采访

China and its Migrants: Fragile Progress

Interview of Chloé Froissart, Director of the Sino-French Centre,  July 26 2018 on iD4D blog, blog coordinated by the Agence Française de Développement – Copyright ID4D.

China CFC EN

China counts almost 300 million migrants workers living in often precarious conditions. Chloé Froissart, Director of the Sino-French Research Centre in Social Sciences at Tsinghua University (Beijing) anlayses their social and legal situations.

 

There continue to be huge internal migration flows in China, which stretch across the entire country, from the center and West towards the East coast. What is the estimated number of migrant workers today?

According to the report of the National Bureau of Statistics released in April 2018, there were 286.52 million migrant workers in China in 2017. Their number is continuing to rise (+4.81 million compared to 2016, i.e. an increase of 1.7%). Furthermore, the statistics only account for a part of the population of these migrants, as many are not registered and are therefore not counted. Taking a city like Shanghai as an example: the total population is officially 24 million, but it can sometimes reach 30 million, with an average of 28 million.

These migrant workers for a long time flocked to the large manufacturing centers in southern China. Is this still the case?

An increasing number of Chinese migrants now choose to stay near their homes. The development gap is gradually narrowing between the more rural interior areas – where they traditionally come from – and the richer and more industrialized coastal areas which were their destination. In 2017, migrants in coastal regions earned 13% more than migrants in the center and west regions. But there has been a slowdown in the growth of salaries in these most prosperous regions to 6.4% in 2017, against 21% in 2011, while the increase in salaries in inland China has reached a peak at 7.5%.

Many migrants also choose to move to cities close to their homes for personal reasons. Indeed, many are only children and want to have easy access to their families, as described in a recent article of the magazine Caixin. All these changes are reflected in the proportion of migrants who have left their province of residence to work, compared to those who migrate within their home province. In 2008, 53.3% of migrants were working in another region. This figure fell to 44.7% in 2017.

The “hukou” is this Chinese domestic passport introduced at the time of Mao and is equivalent to a residence permit, which divides China’s population between rural households and non-rural households. What impact has it today on internal migration in China?

Strictly speaking, this system no longer prevents migrations, but it discourages them in the large cities through discriminatory policies. Indeed, the “hukou” continues to be a planning instrument. The first national urbanization plan, published by the State Council in 2014, aims to grant an urban “hukou” to 100 million people by 2020. This will further ease the restrictions of the “hukou” in cities and small cities, while exercising more control over migrations in large Chinese cities.

In these large cities, this domestic passport allows the authorities to implement selective immigration policies: attract rich and highly qualified people who will contribute to the economic development of cities. It does not concern workers who have come from rural areas, but often urban migrants or migrants returning from abroad. However, this policy does not stop migrants from continuing to head for the most economically dynamic centers. So the “hukou” continues to be a powerful factor of discrimination in large Chinese cities.

How has the legal and social (access to healthcare) situation of migrants changed?

Despite the central authorities’ will to universalize access to social rights, this policy comes up against the fact that it is the municipalities which must bear all the costs related to this integration into a system where there is no equalization. Municipalities are therefore encouraged to select candidates for integration. Furthermore, China’s social security is a social insurance system financed by the contributions of employers and employees.

This system is only intended for a part of the migrants who are already well integrated in cities and have a stable job. It leaves aside all those who are too poor, too mobile, who often change employers or who are self-employed workers. Yet paying social security contributions is often considered as a condition of access to other rights in cities, particularly education, in other words, as a duty more than a right. In a context whereby access to social protection is in reality extremely poor in cities, migrants often return to rural areas to get treatment. Finally, when migrants return home, they can only recover their own contributions but lose those of their employers, which remain in the social protection system in cities.

How have the working conditions of this “cheap” manpower improved?

Starting in 2008, a series of laws – the first being the labor law – were published and have considerably strengthened the codification of rights for all workers, including migrants. There has generally been progress in the protection of rights. But it is not done through the institutionalized dispute resolution channels (arbitration, mediation, ruling), which only provide a very poor response to workers’ expectations. It is done under pressure from mobilizations, with a constantly increasing number of strikes. Various forms of collective bargaining have been introduced, mainly focusing on salaries. Independent collective bargaining led by workers with help from NGOs developed between 2011 and 2015 in Guangdong (southern China). It allowed a variety of disputes to be settled, in particular related to relocations. But due to fear of an excessive empowerment of the labor movement, it was stopped in December 2015, with a string of arrests of activists and the closure of several NGOs. Official trade unions are also trying to set up their own model for collective bargaining, particularly on salaries, in order to avoid strikes.

Is education provided for the children of these migrants?

According to the New Citizen Annual Report (2017), approximately 60% of Chinese migrants’ children are unable to follow their parents to the city due to a lack of access to education in urban areas and therefore go to school in rural areas, where educational conditions are not as good. Among those who are able to follow their parents to the city, only 32% go to public schools and benefit from the same educational conditions as non-migrant children. But this requires parents to provide a number of documents, in particular certifying that they have a fixed job and abode and that they pay social security contributions. In other words, public education remains out of reach for children whose parents are poor or work in the informal economy. Finally, approximately 8% of these children are in private schools where tuition fees are high, whereas education is free in public schools.

The opinions expressed on this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of their institutions or of AFD.

Find this article on the iD4D blog, a blog coordinated by the Agence Française de Developpement 

法国文化广播来中法中心采访上山下乡研究专家

法国文化广播电台在中法中心专访上山下乡研究专家

2012315日,法国文化广播电台记者前来中法研究中心对潘鸣啸先生(Michel Bonnin)、清华大学历史学系秦晖教授以及中国社会科学院历史学家、知青史专家刘小萌进行了采访。采访持续了两个小时,各位学者同记者朋友分享了他们的经历,及其对上山下乡运动的看法。

france cu1

首先,通过曾“参加”该运动的两名中国学者关于自我经历的“现身说法”,我们对当时知青参加上山下乡的整个过程有了一定了解。经潘鸣啸先生补充说明,二位学者得以就当时情况的多样性,尤其是干部子女以及知识分子子女情况的多样性做了详细论述。他们也谈论了当时决定下乡知青命运的地方政局。

france cu3 france cu2
左图为刘小萌 右图为秦晖i

 

讨论过程中,学者们还回忆起当时知青心中澎湃的复杂情感。徘徊于需要表现出对农村生活的热爱和他们实际上对政治失望的两端,知青们的情感不能归纳为对政治非热爱即憎恶的二元对立。同秦晖为我们做的回忆一样,他们大多数人的心中都燃烧着回归城市的希望,这就尤其需要“好好表现”,通过“生存原则”来维持最微弱的“革命”火花。除各种各样的下乡经历外,Lewkowicz先生还邀请几位学者回顾回归城市以后的生活,以及上山下乡运动留下的长期影响。大家一致认为,对于大多数被剥夺接受高等教育权利、之后在改革过程中遭遇失业大潮的人而言,用潘鸣啸先生著作中的话来说,“知青就是‘失落的一代’”。

 france cu4

 

从某种角度看,这“一代人”虽然是“失落的”,但他们对中国社会与政治的变革依然做出了不小的贡献。他们在对意识形态的失望中遗留下来的务实作风以及对稳定的渴求,无不成为影响之后十年中国社会变革的因素。

有关本次采访的全部内容以及毛泽东时代对中国的影响的相关报道,请锁定20138月最后一周每日上午法国文化广播播出的《今日中国》专题节目

1)关于为什么用这个说法的问题(包括它与美国作家海明威的关系),参看潘鸣啸:《失落的一代——中国的上山下乡运动(1968~1980)》, 412-418页。

中国社会科学学院社会学研究所邀请了欧海洋来谈 “家庭社会学,个人化与现代化的关系”

中法研究中心法国南特社会科学研究中心欧海洋先生在中国社会科学院的讲座

——家庭社会学、个体与现代理论

借助诺贝特·埃利亚斯(Norbert Elias)及历史社学会研究理论解决当代中国结婚匹配研究的空白点。

配偶选择与婚姻策略均是当代中国的热门话题,中国社会科学领域也对该问题进行了丰富的研究。应中国社会科学院社会学研究所研究院唐灿女士邀请,欧海洋先生(Aurélien
Boucher)对各位热衷于该话题的研究员做了一次讲座。此次讲座的目的是重新审视相关研究过程中,认识论上配偶形式的“简化”及其二元对立(传统与现代、西方与中国)。

受诺贝特斯·埃利亚斯的社会历史方法及其理论(个体与社会)的启发,欧海洋先生也提出了数条思考路线,或可对中国社会及其“现代特色”研究方法上的革新有所裨益。

婚姻策略:中国特色?

“西方”个体“自由”选择配偶的思想得到中国家庭社会学家的普遍认可。这一思想也毫无争议地出现在参考书目《社会学与中国社会》讲述家庭的一个章节里,它却值得我们探讨一二。

因此,若要表明“社会学上的配偶”既非所谓“传统”社会的特性,亦非中国特色,介绍阿兰·德罗西耶(Alain Desrosières)的研究则不无用处。

其次,通过参考莫妮克·德·圣玛丹(Monique de Saint-Martin)的理论及有关贵族的研究,我们同样可以得知,在一些高度分化的社会,涵盖同一“社会阶层”或同一“社会等级”的以生儿育女为目的的理性“婚姻策略”不会完全消亡。

社会历史方法取代朴实的统计

讲座第一部分主要指出“转型”方法中较为常用的现代与传统的对立以及自由个体与家庭强迫选择的对立所产生的微弱的启发性影响。

这种认识论批判的目标是希望让中国学者注意自己的“自发观念”及关注历史因素在定量调查的重要性。

因此,为弄清楚中国人如何选择配偶,我们对一项统计调查研究进行了分析。我们尤其需要以十年为周期,对该问题进行重新审视,一些可能对个人或家庭择偶的可能性造成影响的历史事件(“自由”婚姻宣传运动、上山下乡运动、集体化运动和户口制度宽松化)将不被纳入考虑范畴。例如,我们可以断定生于20世纪50年代的个体很难有机会同其父母在择偶上达成一致,如果后者在1958-1961年大饥荒中去世了的话……

因而,这些思考把我们送回死啃让-克罗德·帕瑟隆(Passeron)珍贵的关于图表数据和学者讨论的数据二者的差异的认识论分析中去。

同时,这些思考也让我们重温其他认识论基本原理。借助曼海姆(Mannheim)的理论去辨析何谓社会学家眼中的“一代”,抑或使用尚帕涅(Champagne)的思想自问当个体被问及如何择偶时会作何解答……

中国诸位同行已欣然接受这些于己有益的自发类别的评论。

 

现代性再思考:社会历史及诺贝特·埃利亚斯的学说

讲座中推介几种思考路线,通过择偶案例来重审现代性,批判变得更易于接受。

与其想着借助父母的意见或同父母共同决策作为防抗现代性的重要回答,不如自问,在社会不安全因素上升(因劳资变化引起的经济、学校与社会方面的激烈竞争)的纯现代环境下,年青一代脱离对家庭的经济依赖,便不会使早已根深蒂固的婚姻策略死灰复燃?

根据埃利亚斯的思想,这也是在自问现代性,抑或“走向更高级的个体化的社会变革”不会为“个体打开一条通向多种满足或成就、不满或失败的某些特殊形式的通道”,同样,它会带来新的快乐、幸福与舒适,并将其暴露于社会中更特殊的新的痛苦、不满、不悦和疾病。

 


[i] Li Peilin, Li Qiang & Ma Rong (李培林,李强 & 马戎).(2008). Sociologie et société chinoise (社会学与中国社会). Pékin : Maison d’édition des sciences sociales de Chine (中国社会科学出版社)

[ii] Elias, N. (1998). La société des individus. Paris : Fayard, p.178.