Objective and Subjective Social Distance to Migrants in Urban China

Yue Zhuo, University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

It has long been a part of the conventional wisdom among both social scientists and laypersons in China that the contemporary Chinese society is characterized by high levels of prejudice and discrimination directed at rural-to-urban migrants (so-called floating population). Yet little research has addressed this issue. This study explores the predictors of objective and subjective social distance to migrants in contemporary urban China using individual-level data from China General Social Survey 2005, which have been linked with contextual-level data from Chinese Population Census 2000 and China Statistical Yearbooks. The sociological theories of racial relationship and attitudes toward immigrants in the Western literature are borrowed and applied in the Chinese context. Three aspects related to social distance to migrants are examined: (1) demographic factors; (2) media effects; (3) socioeconomic conditions.

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Presented in Poster Session 5