Minhua Ling, "The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant Youth Coming of Age on Shanghai's Edge" (Stanford UP, 2019)


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On the podcast today, I am joined by Minhua Ling, Assistant Professor in the Centre for China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong to talk about her book, The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant youth coming of age on Shanghai’s edge, which was published in 2019 by Stanford University Press.

After three decades of massive rural-to-urban migration in China, a burgeoning population of over 35 million second-generation migrants living in its cities poses a challenge to Chinese socialist modes of population management and urban governance. In The Inconvenient Generation: Migrant Youth Coming of Age on Shanghai's Edge (Stanford UP, 2019), Minhua Ling offers the first longitudinal study of these migrant youth as they come of age at a time of competing economic and social imperatives. Through richly textured ethnography probing into the policy-making behind urban governance and its segmented inclusion, Minhua Ling offers an earnest voice to the aspirations and experiences of second-generation young men and women migrants against the backdrop of a re-emergent global Shanghai.

Minhua Ling’s book is an excellent companion for anyone interested in the politics of citizenship in late socialist China, and an ideal text for more general courses in the anthropology of China and urban studies. Beyond China, The Inconvenient Generation will interest anyone concerned about the inequalities of segmented inclusion that migrants face around the world.

Dr. Suvi Rautio is an anthropologist of China.

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