Hukuo and Suzhi as Chinese Technologies of Governing Citizenship & Migration | Chenchen Zhang

Hukuo and Suzhi as Chinese Technologies of Governing Citizenship & Migration | Chenchen Zhang

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okay thank you so much eli for the kind introduction so i'd like to start with these two scenes that are characteristic i think of internal migration in china the first one is quite well-known which is the eviction of migrant workers in low-income sectors in beijing in december 2017 and this was following a fire in the migrant worker department in a suburbs of beijing that killed 19 people and um the people were referred to as low end population with quotation marks in some official documents um and then the second one is probably less known it's a farewell farewell event for the so-called return need children to say goodbye to shenzhen so they have been grown up in the city but then they have to return to the hometown of their parents to continue their education and this was organized by some civil society organizations and they were doing it in six cities in beijing shanghai shenzhen nanjing shaman some other cities and according to this organization 90 000 students finishing um primary school from these six cities have to go back to go back in again in quotation marks because you have little to no experience with um those places the places are the hometown of their parents and they will become left behind children there because their parents will continue to work in these coastal cities so with this i'd like to invite you to think about the relativity of membership and boundaries of membership and rights so it's about when does crossing boundaries internal boundaries within the nation state matter and when does one become a migrant and that is to say their movement across certain socially constructed boundaries becomes problematized as an object of governing a person migrating from for example ah who's to copenhagen where i am based now wouldn't be considered a migrant in fact a swedish citizen moving from stockholm to copenhagen usually isn't a migraine migrant either that means their mobility isn't a problem or isn't problematized by the government and the rally have problems accessing equal civil political and uh social rights just like um the locals apart from formal legal rights there is also the problem of identity and belonging of course in the context of international migration and a second generation immigrant from danish with donation citizenship from a non-western country is still framed as a migrant in the public discourse in this country all this is to say that migration is a lot more than crossing territorial boundaries and also a lot more than crossing national territorial boundaries um so this is the outline of my presentation today i'll start with some boring conceptual issues um clarifying some some um concepts and then i'll look at who could i spend much more time on the second topic than what i'll do with this third topic because the third topic is sort of work and in progress um so i spent much of the time talking about vocal reforms and what that means for differentiated citizenship in contemporary china and then i'll talk a little on suju as a marker of difference in hierarchy and how it defines an ideal citizenry so conventional approaches to citizenship talk about these different layers or elements of the concept um typically legal status the passport you have the nationality you have on your passport and the kind of rights it in those practice or democratic participation and identity so normally in conventional sort of citizenship theory you could say that liberal cons there are liberal republican and communitarian conceptions of of it and with respect to focus on rights liberal concept would focus on rights republican concept would focus on democratic participation and the cu the communitarian approach would focus on identity and so on um but beyond this two alternative perspectives have in particular shaped my initial interests in citizenship studies the first looks at [Music] those acts or raptures even of performances beyond our normal understanding of what democratic participation means and through which the excluded such as undocumented migrants or asylum seekers refugees constitute themselves as citizens or political subjects and then the second one focuses on citizenship as governmental strategies that produce exclusions and stratifications um and these technologies and discourses of citizenship also create specific forms of subjectivity for example liberal citizenship would be about rational autonomous autonomous self-interests liberal subjects so this is what i mean when i talk about technology of citizenship in the title so today when i i want to talk about huko and suji as technologies of citizenship in china and um if i use eisens eisen is a theorists um the theorist that is best known for the acts of citizenship approach um we could say that huco is about the extent of citizenship so defining the boundary of rights and suji is about the depth of citizenship um about the qualities of what an ideal modern citizen means or entails requires um but maybe there are better terms i think there are probably better terms to to describe these um dimensions of chinese citizenship so next i also want to mention the concept of social citizenship um one of one of the best known theorists of this is english british sociologist tjh marshall who defines social citizenship as in a nutshell the right to live the life of a civilized being according to the standards prevailing in the society and in concrete terms this typically is comprised of welfare institutions ideals of national solidarity and provision of social rights as something distinct from civil and political rights and of course this is quite a eurocentric framework and it's also it needs to be put into the historical context and so it's mainly a 20th century development in the european welfare state from the bottom up perspective you could say it's resulted from is achieved through labor struggles and from a top-down perspective you could say that it's sort of responses taken by the state to neutralize the antagonism between capital and labor the reason why this is relevant is because i conceptualize huco as a form of muscle level social citizenship which to a large degree is about the portability of social rights under conditions of cross-border mobility movement now the problematization of international mobility is not unique to contemporary china as the construction of social citizenship always entails exclusion inclusion and boundary making so international mobility was a problem before the establishment of national social citizenship in the european welfare state um and in the united states there's a famous case called edward versus california california which you might have heard of basically california prohibited the brain of indigen indigent persons from elsewhere to the state in their welfare and institutions code and in 1941 the supreme court decided that the law was unconstitutional a final point about the final um slides in my conceptual issues section um so this has to do with the translation of citizenship in in chinese right so the interesting thing about this is that you have two ways of translating or articulating this concept in chinese um but also in other eastern east asian languages like in japanese as far as i know um nowadays i think it's more common to say go mean but still there are in all your translations and in certain cases you could still see a citizen as shuming and in civil society in the translation of civil society there's something similar so you have gone mean society and humane society with one emphasizing publicness and another emphasizing urbanity or the urban quality of a citizen i actually got reminded um of this by eli's upcoming uh talk and on urbanization of the people right so this is a policy go in the new type urbanization plan and it's mentioned a lot is the buzzword in all the discussions about rural urban integration and rural urban migrants now i think urbanization of the people is a good translation but in some chinese language academic articles you can also see that it's translated as citizenization in their english abstracts and so on and there also is a point there i think because there's always this um connection between the idea and the ideal of citizenship and the urban um so i'll go back to this later but i think event and ultimately the urbanization of citizenization of the people entails turning these migrants into proper urban citizens with appropriate rights response responsibilities and certain desire desirable qualities associated with the discourse of suji now very quickly about that pre-history of vocal the household registration system in imperial china but it's it's it's very different from what it is now but i think suffice it to say that this thing this institution of household registration has a long history and this also influenced the similar practices in other east asian countries like the koseki in japan but then the functions were very different historically and now and they're also different in different countries for those of you who don't know who didn't have any prior knowledge about this um household registration or huco is an administrative practice requiring our citizens to be registered with their local hugo authority that is usually the public security bureau and um so it's a form of civil registration system and civil registration systems are of course extremely widespread across the world and it's an essential feature of the modern states but what's unique of this is that your official place of registration is tied to your access to certain social rights because the social security systems are fragmented and locally governed and it can be difficult to change it when you change when you have changed your residence and um so it's essentially about the portability of social rights as i said earlier when you go across go across boundaries of of those social rights but how difficult is it it really depends it depends on you and it depends on the cities you are moving to and we'll get to that in a moment next i'm going to walk you through quickly the involvement of huco policies in the prc so everything started in 1958 when the regulation on household registration was introduced one interesting thing about the constitutional revision or the constitutional amendment is that in the 1954 version of the constitution we had freedom of movement recognized in the constitution um but then it became like only on paper after this regulation was introduced in 1858 and then it was removed all together from the 1975 constitution that never got back but of course a lot of other political rights mentioned in the constitution are on paper only too um but the right to freedom of movement is is absence at all um so this means with this regulation it means that people could not move freely from um rural areas to urban areas and there was this dual track registration system where you have two types of vocal this has been abolished now there were agricultural and non-agriculture cultural types of vocal and this mobility regime served to maintain the dualistic planned economy and also of course the dualistic welfare system which is still very much dualistic right now the welfare system even though programs of rural urban integration have been introduced in recent years or decades for example integration of different health insurance systems in urban and rural areas began in 2016. so quite recent another example is that currently rural and urban residents have different income threshold for getting subsistence allowance or basic living benefits in most provinces but in places like beijing and shanghai the standard has been unified and this is a little at the bottom of the slide is a little quote from um laurie singh then minister of public security um justifying the regulation in 1958 so it was he said that it was about protecting the interest of the people as a whole and the freedoms are freedoms with guidance not anarchism and so on and then after the reform and opening up you need migrant labor from the rural area to boost the economy in the coastal area with that we have the regulation they have the regulation on the management of temple residents in cities and towns so it means people from the rural area can seek jobs in cities and towns provided that they apply for and obtain a temporary residence to permit um the notorious standard and internal migrants without this document suffered vulnerabilities similar to undocumented migrants in the international context especially there was a procedure an administrative procedure known as custody and repatriation which resulted in a tragedy but there were lots of tragedy tragic tragedies resulted from that of course but the most um famous one was the sunjugang incident in 2003 that eventually ended this administrative procedure so people could no longer be falsely removed simply because of lack of documents then after we entered the 21st century there have been lots of initiatives programs trying to improve the rights of migrant workers because it's now really a social problem that a governmental problem that increase the social tension tension in society and um you should want to introduce rural urban integration plans and also new type urbanization plans all these have to do one the central question to all of these programs um is the rights and the governance of rural to urban migrants the table on the um top right corner is from my 2018 paper it's a little dated now because it's the differentiated approach to huckle acquisition given by the 2 000 given by the state council in the 2014 outline um then in recent years so from 14 to 19 to now 2021 the population threshold for completely opening up has become bigger and bigger in 2014 only towns and small cities should have an uh sort of completely open huckle acquisition policy but in 2019 [Music] cities were told that cities of a one to three million urban population should lift the restrictions and the latest deadline from 2021 from this action plan for building high standards market systems goes that all cities except mega and extra large cities meeting appropriate criteria could explore residence based hoco registration that means you know once you are here if you live here then you should get a local local um i'll get into the implication of this later but some of the other things talked about in these uh policy papers the first thing this abolish the distinction between are we call agricultural and non-agricultural types of registration that's the type of vocal it's not the location of puko so it doesn't mean you can automatically change yohuko to your place of residence it only means that rural and urban residents now hold the same type of registration and the policy documents also say we should promote equal access to basic public services based on this new type of document um which is juju general residence permit or residence card um and the temporary residence permit or xander john has been abolished and then new urbanization as the urbanization of people turning migrant workers rural to urban migrants to urban citizens that means having them giving them equal access to basic public services but also demanding them to acquire certain intrinsic or inherent internal qualities themselves as well and also i'll talk about this when i get to the suji part so basically um i conceptualized who cool as technology of social citizenship and um i think even though with lots of these reforms it still holds true in 2021 as it determines to a large degree one's access to state-sponsored social rights especially those concerning education healthcare housing allowance and social security and it creates a highly exploitable and profitable labor force [Music] because precarious legal status especially in the era of zhang jiang or temporary residence permit and lack of social provisions makes them a highly um makes a highly vulnerable to exploitative market relations even when zhang jiu jin has been abolished events like the beijing eviction of 2017 show that the inclusion of certain sections of the population in the city is conditional upon their migrancy temporariness and the portability so in that sense it's quite similar to internal international labor migration especially those temporary um migration regi programs and of course undocumented migrants whose exploitability and product proto profitability also comes from their vulnerable legal status um [Music] so institutional and market factors which are not limited to huko huko is just one among many other factors or obstacles make some migrant workers life in the city permanently temporary so you see that actually only a minority of them want to have local local because even without taking into uh taking that into account um they are quite aware that their life and work is temporary um so similar to many precarious migrant workers in the uh from the south to the global north this precarious precariousness comes from both insecure legal status and exploitative market relations that are mutually reinforcing each other um in the chinese context then this has hugely reduced the cost of urbanization because the city is getting lots of yarn and exploitable migrant workers from the rural area without having to pay for the cost of labor reproduction um having to pay for their health care education um and stuff like that so the costs of labor reproduction are either minimal or displaced um because they have to leave their children at home um so the the cost of labor reproduction are displaced to the um countries uh to the places of origin um and finally it's a lot more about the rights of migrant workers it's also an instrument of population management of resource allocation that facilitates other governmental goals or correspondence with other governmental goals including industrial restructuring urban transformation and land ownership reforms then taken together if you look at the trajectory um of this from the 1950s and to now it has shifted from the dualistic rural urban segregation to a multiplication of legal statuses boundaries and hierarchies of citizenship so the inclusion exclusion structure was was dualistic before the reform and now it's much more differentiated and multi-dimensional there are differentiated rights in the city contingent on years of residency income educational attainment quantified contribution to society and so on um as you will see from the point-based system used in beijing shanghai and shenzhen and very importantly there's a further hera hierarchization of mobility between cities um so the hierarchy the main sort of boundaries not between cities and rural areas anymore but between different tiers of cities and only the only the most powerful cities have the most selective migration policies um and another thing i want to mention is that under those projects of urban transformation and beautification as we have seen in beijing and guangzhou the right to the city is denied also to the urban poor with local vocal and also in the case of guangzhou you'll see [Music] similar exclusion inclusion applies to international migrants african immigrants um under this name of beautification and urban transformation and so on so the boundaries are multiplied and it's not just about um the dualistic urban rule of segregation anymore um so basically i think this this is about reorganizing the speciality of the uh of um king van lim called uneven economic geographical development so basically the economic policies built on this hierarchical organizing of space um in within the chinese states um so you have eastern central and western regions and initially the coastal eastern area gained the highest priority in integrating into the global economy and has benefited so far immensely from the kind of migration regime we talked about and now they are aiming to move upwards in the global value chain whereas um labor intensive manufacturing industry is moving westwards to the central area so if you look at the urban master plans of these first tier cities they all speak of optimizing industrial not only industrial structure but also optimizing their population structure also if you compare this to the pre-reform error you could say that migration control used to be relying on direct governmental intervention only but now it's a combination of direct governmental intervention including introducing publishing population caps and um implementing evictions and so on and market-based mechanisms such as like upgrading your industrial structure develop urban development projects um like embedding they also sort of eliminated street level small businesses and um just to illustrate the um the hierarchy between cities um as you can see from this graph it's a laser point only first and second tier cities actually have net immigration and all the smaller cities are losing um their their population size and um even though xi'an is a second tier city but is it in the central region so it's really not a popular destination and it opened up its local policy in 2017 to compete with other um second tier cities in attracting talents and then you can see there is a dramatic increase after this in their huckle population but not so much an increase in in their um in the number of actual residents and this is um [Music] an entry barrier index developed by some quantitative researchers um based on and hugo policies of different cities and you can see there's a dramatic difference between them um and the four traditional the four first tier cities are definitely the ones with the highest barrier so point business system is the last thing i want to mention about this new emerging um regime of citizenship and mobility as as i call it um so in a way it's it's kind of a global trend it's quite similar to the sort of point-based systems used in [Music] the global north to govern and filter international immigrants but on the other hand i also think this is um a continuation of a long-standing tradition in socialist china that is this belief in the power of quantification a continuation of the rationality of scientific managerialism so numbers uh considered objective and scientific and you can see that in the social credit system too um i won't go through these points in any details but just to have an idea how sort of difficult to [Music] get hookah in cities like beijing and shanghai even though it's very easy to get it in cities like xi'an and there's a if you speak mandarin there's an episode from gush fm called i could give up everything for or anything for beijing huko um it's quite it's worth a listen if you're interested in this kind of personal stories and here is the point business system for school admission in shenzhen in one of the districts in shenzhen and then you can see it's really a combination of different factors if you have a local google but your parents live in rented houses you actually get lower score than if you don't have a local local and your parents own property in the school catchment area so this brings me to the last two points about uh the huko section in the hokule section that is it's not everything so sometimes sometimes there's a mystification of vocal in the study of internal migration in china there are apparently a huge number of papers articles studies on this but it's become increasingly clear that it doesn't matter in lots of places it doesn't really matter in much smaller cities non-provincial capitals and county level towns like my hometown but it doesn't matter very much in places like beijing and shanghai and those are the places where you have the most selective restrictive policies um so it really depends on the internal the power positioning of cities within the country and um if you consider the intention of root urban migrant workers to get local urban hugo as i said only a minority haven't had the intention to get it but of course it it depends on your perspective um or how you would interpret it because sometimes it's like it's so impossible that you won't even consider it but still those living in the first tier cities are most likely to say yes um and the top reasons for no are high living costs fear so for first tier cities the most the biggest reason is high living costs and um in smaller cities you have fear of losing rural land rights and also no stable employment because the job is sort of temporary anyway and as i said earlier it's not the single determinant determining factor of job and social security so next is the content um the depth or not the contour the the depth of citizenship right um the kind of qualities you associate with an ideal citizenry and that is the really complex suture discourse i'm using a super scientific graph from google engram here um as you can see it's a discourse that really emerged since the since the 1980s and i have no idea what happened here but this is the end of the um the turn of the 20th century around 1900 so i'm sure it means something different a hundred years ago but for now it is this policy and everyday discourse that has become completely naturalized and it has been used to describe explain and justify difference on the hierarchy what it exactly means is extremely diverse it could range from mannerism self-discipline lifestyles hygiene education to professional skills and entrepreneurialism um and the newer new type urbanization plan issued by the central government um says that the main points the goal of the new type organization is about um urbanization of the people and raising the suture of the population of course this is like mentioning a lot of other policy documents as well so um [Music] i'm at the beginning of this little sub sub uh project the point i'd like to make here is that um as a marker of difference and hierarchy between morality or urbanity uncivilized versus civilized subject versus citizen the connotation of the term is really context dependent and there's also evolving so earlier depiction of so-called low suge migrant workers really focused on their rural bodily habitus as ian hyron said in an earlier article about suju so taking showers brush teeth um [Music] stop fighting and not to squat on chairs something like that and current discussion of suji in the context of new type urbanization focuses more on qualities such as education culture professional skills self-governance and improvement and knowledge of laws and rules and so on this is a preliminary um impression from looking through a quick glance at this comprehensive economy academic knowledge production on how to increase the sujob rural to urban migrants and facilitate their integration into cities um so i think next i'm going to like take a closer look and have a proper content analysis of this um of this knowledge of expertise and um importantly it has been internalized by disadvantaged groups to rationalize inequalities and injustice um so this is a podcast made by um made four migrant workers and they have guests um they have migrant workers as guests and one of the recent ones is um a labor organizer delivery worker and the bad news i think he's been arrested recently um so he's a delivery worker and he he has a he has a mutual support group um and he's a great guy but what's also struck me from that interview is when the host asked him because he said it's it's difficult for us to unite and it's difficult to have solidarity among delivery workers in the gig economy and the host said why do you think is that you know i thought he would say because of the nature of the job right because you are not like typical industrial workers and so on but he said because most people have very low surgery he's like um because you know deliberate workers they have they have really low surgery so um i think that's quite an extraordinary example of how it's it's been internalized by disadvantaged groups to um rationalize their the kind of inequalities and injustice they experience and because i do study international relations what interests me too is also how it's used to produce imaginaries of global hierarchies um the typical narrative about this would be the low su-chinese people um there's a self-oriented orientalizing aspect to it and the high-suit japanese um and typically westerners and they just came across this um is that a time reminder did you did anyone give me a time reminder no sorry i just sent the link to the the dagwong tan yeah okay okay so uh a recent speech made by xi um he was i think it's really interesting he says that the younger generations can now look at the world as equals and no longer as you know inferior um to the westerners and they are no longer as tall as we were um so this this binary of yan is also quite interesting which i have written on twitter through a twitter thread um but of course is not here is not the time to talk about this but it's just how the the suji is part of this imagination about global hierarchies um that's very much situated in the broader um linear and evolutionary and dichotomous discourse of modernization and also um in shenzhen land's study on the black threat discourse in china so she identified these these five themes including low suju so how um these anti-black racist discourse um used the the suture discourse to [Music] dehumanize or racialize africans in china but also she made points that i find quite interesting is that when you when you ask people who actually interact with um black africans in china they would when they comment on their language skills they would say well they're actually quite high suji because they they speak good english um and then that reminds me of um how some some friends of mine worked in on asthma minorities and they told me that speaking mandarin would be considered a characteristic of high sugar in minority areas so these instances i think show that the changing context dependent understanding and discourse of suju is reflect both reflective and constitutive of the global and national linguistic as well as cultural hegemony so finally i want to connect this to um the social credit system which has been very very under uh misunderstood um but i won't spend much time explaining what social credit system is because that's just too much um so i just mentioned this aspects of the scs regarding the disciplining of individual behaviors through scoring systems but these scoring systems are very very few they exist only in a couple of dozen cities and they are not mandatory but i talked to the civil servants in those cities where they do have the scoring system and they use a scor scoring system to sort of encourage certain behaviors and punish but not really punish um discourage certain other behaviors and of course they use the language of suju um and they connect this also to things like legal consciousness um compliance the sort of awareness to comply with contracts and so on i think it's quite similar to um the construction of the meaning of suju in the contemporary context so it's no longer it's not so much connected to the bodily habitus anymore but more to this sort of being competitive and rules abiding on the market and also in society with regard to the social credit narratives i um interpreted this as combining different elements of liberal socialists and very ambiguous traditional subjectivities um so that's what the um the kind of subjectivity they tried to construct through this concept of trusted worthiness on the liberal side it's about the so-called modern contractual spirits it's actually used in the shanghai um municipal regulation on on social credit um the compliance with laws and contracts and then certain socialist element that has to do with voluntarism in a community service sacrifice that kind of things um devotion and then in the traditional areas is very vague it's just mentioned like mentioned that trustworthiness is the traditional virtual um but when it comes to what they get what that ex act what that exactly means it's really ambiguous um so anyhow i think what's crucial about huco is that not about the suji discourse is that on the one hand it really refines existing social boundaries and difference but on the other hand it also promises the endless possibility for improvement so keepness suggested that um the concept blurs the nature versus nurture divide and raising suji is both an object of ind of active intervention a full governance and the responsibility of individual citizens who must strive for becoming a high-suited person who is a competitive market subject and a rule abiding member of society so you might you could say that it's it's sort of connected to so has it has different um sources of sort of intellectual inspiration it could say has some elements of confusion idea of self cultivation and to me it also sort of resonates with the subjects of improvement in liberal political reason so anyhow i think i'm talking too long thank you very much for your attention and that's all from me wonderful thank you so much um so we will um we'll take questions now uh we have uh we have uh about half an hour left for discussion so if you wouldn't mind um using the raise hand function then i can go ahead and call people in order so open up for questions or comments yeah we have a question from angela hi um first of all thank you for your talk um uh you mentioned um sort of uh i used either kind of went beyond the hooku myth and um you um talked about how there isn't a single determining factor of um a job in social security for these migrants could you mention what some of the other more significant factors might be then um because i guess like from what i've learned in previous classes and read it really is the sort of fuco system that ties you to the social services you're able to access um so answer now sure i think the most important factor is your type of job um so you said these migrants but you know migrants are migrants are not limited to migrants in temporary low-income jobs right there are also migrants from beijing to shenzhen um as we we have seen in that um point-based systems used by um shenzhen public schools so if you um own property there even if you don't have shenzhen who goes you still have a higher skull so you could be it could be an urban to urban migrant you could have a very good job that provides you with job security and so on so what we are when we of course in this talk we are looking at the kind of migraine workers who often and hired by um outsourced like human and how do you call it those agencies like not not hired by companies that would provide them with um social security but from the some some of the stories i've read and documentary i've seen there are also migrant workers who don't want to have that kind of jobs because they know they're going to be permanently temporary they're going to move from city to city factory to factory and if you have to pay for social security contributions then they are getting less and you won't be eligible um for getting the benefits from those social security systems anyway because you won't be here anymore so i think it really depends on the type of employment great thank you other questions yeah mimi hi um thank you so much for coming to talk with us uh my question is if you think that there's a connection um i know you were talking about um how some people in like uh the podcast that you mentioned were seeming to like internalize their sushi status and i was wondering if you think that there's a connection with that other study that you mentioned that people aren't interested in changing their hookah status or if those are sort of different different phenomena like i kind of think it's it's different it's two different problems um [Music] so the reluctance to change of status status as a lot of um contributing factors right such as um like the impossibility of getting um a house for example in the city the living costs is a huge concern and also land has to do with uh the fear of losing land rural land rights and some other factors um but these people if you ask them if you want to become a higher suture person they i think they would have no problem so it's um it's not about being being um belonging to um a social class um they are confined to i think they i don't know i think i'm i'm i'm losing my thoughts but basically i think these are two problems and um the thing about who about suji is really that it promises improvement it's not inherent so it always asks you is the government or if i use recording terms again it's governing the self so it's about asking you to constantly improve yourself and it's possible so you should educate yourself you should try to raise your own your own suture and become a higher suture person i personally really appreciate the the idea of of sugar as sort of self-improvement and it's a very difficult term to translate to english but i think that that notion really kind of resonates particularly with this american idea of constant self-improvement and pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and stuff there's a lot of i think kind of cultural resonance there even if even if the terms are still somewhat different um so leah has a question hi thank you so much for coming to speak with us i found this topic really interesting um i had two questions that came about from your talk the first one related um pretty closely to mimi's and i might be conceptualizing this more in like a western framework almost like we were just talking about but would you say that suture is like a predictor of being able to gain huko um because you may have access to like like a higher class of like professionalism which would be associated with like like different like different mannerisms and stuff like that i'm not sure if that's a far stretch um of the concepts and then my second question was i know the reform efforts were kind of intended to like promote the rights of the migrant workers um but it also seemed to mostly benefit you know the cities so do you think that um like migrants were actually made better off by these reform efforts um on the second question i'm not sure i don't think i'd answer this because hugo policies and also social policies differ greatly from city to city province to province um so i think you really need a lot of on-the-ground study um interviews and so on to find out if anyone is actually benefiting from this um but on the first question yes so the government and the academics are making this connection that is we should make the city suitable um we should make it easier for high sutra people to settle in the city so that's the rationale if you are well educated and if you are talented and if you have good professional skills then you should be offered an opportunity in the city so that's really um and also the academic disc the academic um discourse is about we should raise the suja of migrant workers so that they could better integrate into the city um and i'm not saying that this this is natural i think this is constructed and it's sort of producing new kind of boundaries right um so before it is that you can't come but and now it's like yeah you can come when you have improved yourself when you when you have become a more deserving member of society and a more deserving competitive market actor so um i think this is the rationality the rationality behind this discourse about the connection between suture and rural turbine migration pretty good uh we have a question from guangzhou hi um can you hear me okay i have a question um regarding the surgery discourse um i was wondering if you saw any difference in terms of surgery requirement for rural migrants versus urban residents in and acknowledged classic national pastime she talked about how the surgery discourse on the nature of it how it's related to global capitalism production and how it produces um docile workers right um but i was wondering also if you saw how the requirement for surgery is different for urban residents and how it's probably more [Music] related to how maybe cities serve as economy the global creative economy right now right um so how requirements for for them are different from those for rural residents or real quick um so the question is about what do we mean by suji when we talk about different groups of people right yes like a rural under um yeah it's definitely different and so as i was saying it's it's very context dependent um and constantly evolving so in the end i don't really know what we use it like it's so naturalized it's like in every day it's very everyday uh vocabulary um and we use it to describe difference and and sort of justify hierarchy but in the end what it exactly means is really ambiguous to me um but i think the several points i've made earlier or maybe at the heart of it that is being competitive um on the market on the job market and that would have to do with educational attainment and sort of professional skills and so on um and then in the context of i think this is somehow related to um the idea of trustworthiness in the social credit system so the goal is the same it's about creating these um subjects that comply to contracts and laws so still it very much has to do with um with being an ideal market actor um so yeah that's that's that's that's my thoughts but still [Music] i mean i don't have a satisfactory answer for that one great uh next question is from uh true i'm chad thank you for your speaking uh i think the lives of the workers from rural areas are more difficult now workers who came yeah 10 years ago over 10 yeah 20 years ago had better lives than not over the past few decades yeah house prices in the first line cities have risen dramatically so uh i when i was in when when i worked in guangzhou uh there are lots of ruler yeah employed yeah from yeah countryside but they they said yeah the the the room prices in the guangzhou is very very very high so they cannot yeah leave any more yeah yeah first line so what do you think about this problem yeah yeah um the problem housing prices rising yeah yeah yeah yeah so yeah so it's more difficult for a rural employee yeah it's very difficult to live in i mean it's it's i i think it's it's always been um difficult and it's worsened um but for so in my recent studies they call them first generation second generation migrant workers as well but actually from what i've read um i think you said the first generation had a better living life quality relatively speaking but from the literature i've read is that the second the younger generation are more willing to settle in the city even though they might have to bear even higher living costs um but the they are younger and they sort of came to the city at a younger age and feel more integrated in the city life and so on um but then of course feeding these huge obstacles both institutional ones and economic ones okay okay uh next up we have vicky hey um i had a quick question about the hugo system so it seems as if it's a pretty controversial system to me and it's led to all the reforms that you talked about i was wondering what the chinese government's justification for the system is how they justify the continued continued use of it even though it seems like a lot of people have issues with it and it seems like its primary use is to exploit these migrant workers you know most of the time they don't have to justify what they do right um but i showed you this very early justification from the 1950s so as with anything they could always say it's about restricting personal freedoms for the greater good um and now so there have been debates i mean especially from certain academics um from certain activists and caused to abolish the system completely and i think the government has been responding to this through one thing making it more open so opening up especially smaller the level of smaller cities and then also secondly by saying that we should sort of disconnect to some degree disconnect social rights access to social rights from local status so promote equal access to public services through jujuja the residence permit instead of huko so through this sort of so whether it has a major impact is another matter and we need to investigate that but from the from the perspective policy discourse is it's a sort of response right so even though we're not going to abolish this anytime soon but we are making it less relevant we are making it less an obstacle for you to access social rights um and and i think it also in as i said in smaller cities is quite irrelevant but in cities like beijing shenzhen it will always be there will always be obstacles even if there's no who called there be other means so it's really about i think this hierarchy between cities as well uh great uh niall thanks for your talk i found this all really interesting and one thing that was uh especially i was curious about is the way you mentioned the um what that the delivery work organizer said on the podcast about suture uh because that that made me wonder like do you think there's there's an implied relationship in that statement also between suture and and class consciousness such that there's like such there's so much ambiguity in the term that suture could be wheeled in kind of the opposite direction as well so you need a certain level of like suture in order to understand your class position and like because it's so vague that people could use it to argue for and against or kind of like take a marxist position or take the state's position yeah i think that's that's an excellent point i mean i would need to you would need to talk to him to know exactly what he means by that and this is probably difficult right now to talk to him because he's disappeared but in that podcast um from my understanding so basically he was saying from some of some of the other discussions he was saying that most um delivery workers are selfish so they would care more about their pay so obviously uh instead of organizing themselves and and doing something together taking some actions right so um it's almost like an excuse to sort of um you know finding explanations um for the behavior or the preferences of people who have very little choices in those situations but in a way i think it does it does connect to close consciousness even if he was not thinking he was not aware of it like subconsciously he might be making a connection between surgeon-class consciousness but but the key ideas that really um the ambiguity affairs excellent so uh next up is fletcher and then i'm gonna put myself on the list uh so yeah thank you for your talk one thing i'm wondering about sugger is like it really reminds me of like american discourses of kind of like poor blaming and like you know self-improvement as as uh you know like poor people should lift themselves up and so on um and i know at least in the us like there are a good number of people i think who kind of just project that uh that framing altogether and i'm wondering uh who in china plays that role if anyone of of kind of rejecting the whole idea of sugar at all um so in the u.s you said what what are the actors behind the promotion of this idea yeah i mean i guess i i'm not even exactly sure i guess i would say like politically left-leaning people would generally tend to kind of reject the the idea of of um [Music] like poor people just need to lift themselves up um so i guess i wonder if there's a similar kind of counter discourse against suger in the same way that there is at least some level of counter discourse against kind of other poor blaming narratives in the us um first of all in response to your first um to the question how you framed it at the beginning who is participating in in this everyone is participating in this because everyone is using it and in the everyday conversations even though they don't necessarily mean the same thing but this as i said is completely naturalized um and it's naturalized it's too easy to discuss differences within the nation but also between nations between different peoples right especially like japanese people and german people known as having a very high suji um and as for counter discord i think it's really difficult to see in some academic circles and not even in not even in chinese language academic circles but mainly in the english language um academic literature there's a counter there's there's efforts that we made to deconstruct this right um but in in the um so on social media for example where i'm like kind of familiar with um there are counter discourses to poor blaming but they would not necessarily frame it as something as a critique of the idea of suji um and also i mean if i have to make a really big generalization but i have you have to be careful about this but um i think with the modernization the mainstream modernization discourse in china sort of social darwinism is really quite prevalent um and if you read my articles about the uh right-wing nationalist discourse and a little little article about the white left you see uh what i mean by that so believing in competition believe in social darwinism also believe in um this this cruel um um cruelest competition between the backwards and the more advanced people um because i remember this in from my sort of national patriotic education is that the lesson you learn a crucial lesson you learn from history is that if you are backwards then you are meant to be beaten or defeated so this is like even though they teach you this in the history lesson just to show you that okay china now really needs to become and become an advanced um nation so that she won't be uh bullied anymore and something like that but this logic is is very um much naturalized and um rooted in sort of popular thinking um i may be generalizing too much here but i think that sort of social dominance to thinking and should have something to do with the lack of counter discourse um on this matter thanks so that actually the the question of the right wing response uh connects to the question that i had wanted to ask so i really appreciate um the the comparative uh perspective you have in that 2018 article in terms of thinking about the construction the historical process and the construction of national citizenship and how this was something that happened in england in the united states and other places um and and thinking and as you just mentioned in the talk the kind of combination of bottom-up agitation for the construction of national citizenship and then sort of top-down responses so you know we understand the sort of where the push for greater who co-liberalization is coming from and more sort of integration of people into cities and into social services um you know but at the same time we do have to acknowledge that there is a lot of um social resistance that this is not just like the big bad chinese government um keeping people out that that urban residents themselves have a lot of concerns about that and that there have been sort of moments of counter mobilization i i mean in like i think it was sujo a couple of years ago they had this sort of they were gonna reform the university entrance exam and you know parents were out on the street protesting saying no so you know so so the question is basically how how big an issue do you think that that kind of popular resistance within those post-elite cities um is for a more generalized co-liberalization that's worrying and i don't i'm not too familiar with that kind of nativism in cities i do know in some cities um like in shanghai as well so when i think there was a sort of um attack from an unemployed migrant person um he attacked uh kindergarten and killed a couple um kids and at the time it really um triggered a huge backlash against um um [Music] non-local people so like in they have a slant term in shanghainese especially for uh non-local people in the city and it was there was quite a surge in um exclusionary nativism in that period um [Music] but i can't like assess how large that force is in other cities or even in shanghai cuisine it's it seems episodic um but what i also find interesting is its connection between perception of the hugo system and um xenophobia against a foreign nurse um it's it's all connected in a way you know xenophobia in um western countries or right when populism in western countries is also related to your perception of your marginalization in society right even though that perception isn't always true um but for example um last year when china introduced this draft regulation on permanent residence for foreigners there was also huge backlash online against um no giving foreigners any rights it's a bit like that and then when you look at um those those responses uh quite a lot of them were about you know we are not even equal citizens in our country we can't even get those rights then why do you give foreigners those rights um so in a way i think the perception of this internal inequality really also also has an effect on anti-immigration sentiments yeah great okay uh we're almost out of time so uh angela if you have one final quick question um yeah so i had a question um sort of tangential question to your response to fletcher's comment um are these ideas of social darwinism in china like primarily imported from the west recently or do they also develop organically from um inside china since trujillo is like is originally a chinese concept um so i would trace this back to um kind of reformist or enlightenment thinkers at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century so there were quite similar to those in japan um around the same time as well so they were seeing that this huge existential threat from western imperial powers and they were determined that we have to get strong and if we don't get strong we're going to be um to become extinct [Music] and also there were lots of um so it was around that time a lot of vocabulary of social darwinism were introduced in to chinese so is it is it imported from the what i would say yes but also i mean sort of a global circulation of ideas um so there's this this understanding of of colonialism and acceptance of logic effect um [Music] and then they continued to um shape um popular thinking throughout throughout the 20th century i would say so it's definitely grown out of the encounter with western colonialism at the end of the 19th century um [Music] but i mean i wouldn't say it's like like completely a foreign idea because it's foreign versus indigenous um binaries is also a little problematic so after it got introduced then it also got sort of circle reinterpreted and or internalized okay guys uh we're a little bit over time um so once again thanks to professor zhang for uh joining us today and um hope to see all of you guys at the next ccci lecture in a few weeks all right have a good day thank you

2022-08-29 16:41

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