The Everyday Life Formation of Collective Consciousness in Contemporary Chinese Urban Villages


Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Predissertation-Summer Travel Grants




This research focuses on the “urban villages” – inner city poor neighborhoods and enclaves for internal migrant workers – in China. The high geographical mobility and precarious employment of the residents makes the life in an urban village extremely atomized, and communal life seems unlikely. Against this background, this research asks: how collective consciousness, or sense of community, can be formed in this highly atomized life? Given the demographic composition of the residents, a second question follows: what will be the content of their collective consciousness? Is it going to be immigrant identity, class identity, or both? How are the two types of identity interwoven? An ethnographic research of daily-life interaction and social boundaries will be done to answer these questions.