Families on the move in China: Challenges, strategies, and implications

Juan Chen, Kaming Wu, Po Lin Pauline Sung-Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We studied 12 migrant families who lived on the outskirts of Beijing, conducting participant observations and in-depth interviews between July 2008 and December 2009. Adopting the family strengths perspective, we identified the strategies employed by the migrant population to manage family life, the reliance on family networks for help and support, and their means of coping with the lack of equal access to stateprovided benefits and services. We argue that migrants and their families should not be the target of policy or practice interventions - despite the unequal treatment, they cope with various difficulties, survive the migration process and succeed in adjustment and adaptation to the migrant life - rather, the divisive hukou system and the associated unequal distribution of benefits and services require fundamental reform.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-122
Number of pages14
JournalChina Journal of Social Work
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2012


  • China
  • Family strengths
  • Migrant children
  • Migrant family

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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