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Discourse, Identity, and China's Internal Migration The Long March to the City Author: Dong Jie

Paperback - 168 pages
19 Aug 2011
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148 (A5)


Migrant workers are crucial to China's fast growing economy, yet little is known about their identities. This ethnographic study of the language use and identity construction of the children of internal migrants is innovative both in the context it studies and the scalar structure of discursive identity construction used to present its data.


Through her insightful ethnographic exploration of rural-urban migrant identity in neighborhoods and schools of Beijing, Dong Jie has achieved the ambitious purpose of documenting both the rapidly changing face of China’s super-diverse cities and the theoretical value of a scaled approach to the study of linguistic processes of identity construction.
Nancy Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Drawing on a wealth of data from Beijing’s migrant neighborhoods, Dong Jie offers a timely analysis of conversational, social-ideological, and institutional scales interacting in the identity-work of migrant children and adults in contemporary China. This book presents thought-provoking materials on China’s internal migration, language diversity, and urban schooling.
James Collins, University at Albany/SUNY, USA

Author Biography:

Dong Jie completed her PhD at Tilburg University in 2009. She is a linguistic anthropologist at the Babylon Center and the Department of Languages and Cultures, Tilburg University. Her publications include Ethnographic Fieldwork: A Beginnerís Guide (2010, with Jan Blommaert).

Readership Level:

Postgraduate Research / Professional

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