Based on in-depth ethnographic research?and using an approach that seeks to understand how migration is experienced by the migrants themselves?this is a fascinating study of the experiences of women in rural China who joined the vast migration to Beijing and other cities at the end of the twentieth century. It focuses on the experiences of rural-urban migrants, the particular ways in which they talk about those experiences, and how those experiences affect their sense of identity. Through first-hand accounts of actual migrant workers the author provides valuable insights into how rural women negotiate rural/urban experiences; how they respond to migration and life in the city; and how that experience shapes their world view, values, and relations with others. The book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the relationship between gender and social change, and of the ways in which globalization and modernity are experienced at the most personal level.
Tamara Jacka's primary research interests are in gender and rural/urban inequalities; and the interconnections between social change and individual experiences and agency. She has carried out field research in a number of sites in northern and central China. She is the author of four books: Women, Gender and Rural Development in China (co-edited with Sally Sargeson; Edward Elgar, 2011), Rural Women in Urban China: Gender, Migration and Social Change (M. E. Sharpe, 2006), On the Move: Women and Rural-to-Urban Migration in Contemporary China (co-edited with Arianne Gaetano; Columbia University Press, 2004) and Women's Work in Rural China: Change and Continuity in an Era of Reform (Cambridge University Press, 1997). Her book, Rural Women in Urban China, won the American Anthropological Association's Francis Hsu award for Best Book in East Asian Anthropology (2007). She is also a co-editor of the journal Critical Asian Studies and a member of the American Anthropological Association, the Association for Asian Studies, the Asian Studies Association of Australia and the Chinese Studies Association of Australia. She has over twelve years' experience of teaching undergraduate courses on Chinese society and politics, and supervises postgraduate students in Chinese studies, gender studies, anthropology and development studies. Andrew B. Kipnis is the author of more than forty articles and three books on Chinese society - Governing Educational Desire: Culture, Politics and Schooling in China (University of Chicago Press, 2011), China and Postsocialist Anthropology: Theorizing Power and Society after Communism (Eastbridge, 2008) and Producing Guanxi: Sentiment, Self and Subculture in a North China Village (Duke University Press, 1997). He is also co-editor of The China Journal and a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association, the Australian Anthropological Society, The Association for Asian Studies and the Chinese Studies Association of Australia. He has taught courses on Chinese Culture and Society, Chinese Public Culture and Religions in China as well as courses on various sub-disciplines of anthropology. He has carried out field research in a number of sites in both rural and urban China. Sally Sargeson's research explores how ordinary people contribute to the extraordinary changes occurring in China's countryside. She has published numerous journal articles and three books, Women, Gender and Rural Development in China (co-edited with Tamara Jacka, published by Edward Elgar, 2011), Collective Goods, Collective Futures in Asia (Routledge, 2002) and Reworking China's Proletariat (Macmillan, 1999). A member of the Association for Asian Studies, the Chinese Studies Association of Australia and the Australasian Political Studies Association, she has 14 years' experience of teaching Chinese Politics and Sociology in universities in Australia, UK and HK, has lectured widely in universities throughout China and has been a Visiting Professor at Peking University, Zhejiang University and the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.