“Young men don’t want to do this work”: Generational change and men’s labor in and beyond the urban construction industry


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Early Career Fellowships


China Studies

Named Award



This research project focuses on generational shifts in migration goals among male rural-urban migrants in Shanghai, with an emphasis on the construction industry, which is failing to attract younger second- and third-generation migrants, and continues to rely on a shrinking population of older first-generation migrant workers. In order to better understand both reactions to this generational shift within the construction industry itself as well as the changing goals of younger labor migrants, this research project investigates both the strategies that construction labor contractors have used to recruit younger workers, and the migration and employment trajectories of younger men who move into and out of the construction industry.