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Living in the City

The Identity Strategies of Schoolchildren in an Urban Setting Confronted by the Stigma of Being “Children of Nongmingong
Mingchao Zhou
Translated by Peter Brown
p. 69-77


Based on an ethnographic survey in a primary school for the children of rural migrant workers in Hangzhou, this study examines the effects of the process of stigmatisation and the forms of internalisation associated with the “nongmingong” status of their parents. It also looks at how some of these “children of nongmingong” who go to school in the city are able to reverse this stigma. In particular, the study analyses the identity strategies deployed by students aged between ten and fourteen to deal with the stigma of their place of abode, by drawing a distinction between individual strategies (when they are alone with the investigator) and group strategies (in the presence of their peers at school).

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Bibliographical reference

Mingchao Zhou, « Living in the City », China Perspectives, 2016/4 | 2016, 69-77.

Electronic reference

Mingchao Zhou, « Living in the City », China Perspectives [Online], 2016/4 | 2016, Online since 01 December 2017, connection on 26 February 2020. URL : ; DOI :

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About the author

Mingchao Zhou

Zhou Mingchao, who completed a doctorate in political science at the University of Aix-Marseille, France, is a postdoctoral researcher at Hangzhou Normal University (Institute for Urban Studies).Hangzhou Normal University, 58 Haishu Road, Cangqian Campus, Yuhang District, 310036 Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (

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