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Meet the Author: Dr Li Sun

Meet the Author
Thursday 16 May 2019, 17:30 - 19:30 (talk at 18:00)
Leeds University Business School, Meadows Room TR.03

Dr Li Sun, a lecturer at the University of Leeds, will speak about rural-urban migration policies in China and how Chinese workers cope with migration events in the context of these policies.

Online registration for this event is now closed. Please join us at Meadow Room 3 after 5:30pm and register on arrival.

The largest human migration in the world is occurring in China, where 281 million rural-urban migrant workers have moved from impoverished rural areas to prosperous urban regions seeking off-farm employment. Dr Li Sun comes from a remote village in China and has many personal connections who have shared their experiences of rural-urban migration with her. This drove her to explore this subject in her academic research.

China is one of only ten countries in the world that has policies to increase rural to urban migration. Rural Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China: Migrant Workers’ Coping Strategies is the first book to examine such rural-urban migration policies in China and discuss how Chinese workers cope with migration events in the context of these policies.

Join us at this Meet the Author event to learn more about this subject from the author herself.


5:30pm - registration

6:00pm - talk and Q&A

7:00pm - networking

7:30pm - event close

About the book

Rural Urban Migration and Policy Intervention in China explores the contribution of migrant workers to the Chinese economy, the impact of changes within the ‘hukou’ system (household registration) and the impact of recent migration policies promoting  rural-urban migration and targeting key events during migrant workers’ migration trajectories - job-seeking, wage exploitation, work injuries and illness - namely the corresponding ‘Skills Training Program for Migrant Workers’,  the ‘Circular on Managing Wage Payment to Migrant Workers’,  the ‘Circular on Migrant Workers Participating in Work-Related Injury Insurance’, and the ‘New Rural Medical Cooperative Scheme’ (Health Insurance).

Through in-depth interviews, it examines how when facing such challenges, migrant workers choose to either make a claim under existing policies, or use other coping strategies. The book notably proposes a typology of “coping” which includes a variety of administrative coping, political coping and social coping, and considers how workers in China harness the power of civil groups and social networks.

About the author

Dr Li Sun is a lecturer in Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Leeds. Originally from China she has been living and working abroad (in the UK, the Netherlands, the US, and Germany) since 2007.

As an ethnic ‘Miao’ woman, she grew up in a remote mountainous village in southwestern China. From impoverished village girl to well-educated global citizen, education has been the pathway out of poverty for her. However, many of her childhood friends, classmates, neighbors, and relatives either migrate to cities for low- skilled jobs or are left behind in the village. Their vivid experience drove Dr Sun to explore the social phenomenon of rural–urban migration in China.

She received her PhD in sociology with magna cum laude from Bielefeld University in 2012. In addition to her academic work Dr Sun also serves as a consultant to the UN, World Bank, and OECD, as well as various government offices in China, UK and the Netherlands.

Dr Sun's research interests focus on the interrelated issues of urbanization in the global south including rural-urban migration, land, housing, social welfare, and inequality. She has an interdisciplinary approach combining sociology, public policy, geography, urban studies, and development studies.

View Dr Li Sun's full academic profile