Mass migration from rural to urban areas - Essay Example

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1. Introduction
Mass migration is a social phenomenon related to the radical changes on a country’s economic and social life – as a result of rapid technological and economic growth but also because of the influence of similar social trends worldwide. …
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Mass migration from rural to urban areas
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Download file to see previous pages In China, the particular phenomenon, has led to the transformation of the country’s existing social and economic characteristics. It should be noted that in China, mass migration is rather a recent activity; indeed, it was just after the 1970s that the initial trends for mass migration towards Chinese cities were identified (Zhou 2009). The changes on the common political and social structure are just part of this activity. As in all countries worldwide, in China mass migration has been a continuous expanding phenomenon, quite difficult to be controlled. In accordance with the literature published in the particular field, the positive effects of mass migration in China have been combined with certain drawbacks, a fact which is made clear in cities across the country. The environmental challenges of the specific activity, as explained below, lead to the assumption that mass migration in China should be closely monitored as threatening the country’s natural environment. The introduction of appropriate measures could help to the transformation of mass migration in China to a proactive social and economic activity; the damages of this activity on the country’s environment could be also reduced, even in the long term.

2. Mass migration in China – benefits and drawbacks
2.1 Economic, social and political benefits of mass migration from rural to urban areas in China – comparison to the negative effects of this activity The development of Chinese urban areas has been highly supported by the rural population. In accordance with Zweig (1997) because of the needs of rural construction thousands of male farmers have been relocated to cities; their income has been increased and their lifestyle has been changed (Zweig 1997, p.20). Through this process, the structure of workforce in the country’s rural areas has been changed – the percentage of women in the labour workforce of these areas has been increased, a fact that led to the transformation of social life in these regions. The development of mass migration in China resulted to the following economic and social benefits: a) the urban areas of the country were highly developed, b) the economic performance of the country was improved; the services sector – mainly developed in urban areas – was improved, along with the manufacturing sector, supporting the country’s growth, c) the living conditions of people were improved – especially in terms of medical support, education and leisure (Ping 2004). However, gradually, mass migration in China has led to the change of employment prospects in the country’s cities. In the past, the level of unemployment in Chinese cities was relatively low – due to the lack of sufficient workforce; however, today, the prospects for work in large Chinese cities have been reduced. This phenomenon is described in the study of Yeh et al. (2011) where reference is made to the increase of street vending in Chinese cities, as a result of the increase of unemployment. It is explained that the labour surplus in Chinese cities has led to the development of the particular mode of work, at such level that today street vending has become ‘the occupation of the 4% of the entire employed population’ (Yeh et al. 2011, p.30). The above phenomenon reflects the economic turbulences related to mass migration in China; it also shows the potential effects of mass migration on society. Because of mass migration, a significant part of the population has been led to choose modes of work that offer a low quality of life, such ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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