Chiang, Yi-Lin

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    It's Not Just About the Money: Motivations for Youth Migration in Rural China
    (2013-02-18) Chiang, Yilin; Kao, Grace
    This study investigates the incentives for labor migration of youth in rural China using panel data from the Gansu Survey of Children and Families, a longitudinal study of youth in rural Gansu Province of China. We investigate the individual and altruistic economic motivations featured prominently in demographic and economic research on migration. However, we propose that the non-economic goal of personal development, a motivation suggested in numerous qualitative studies of women migrants in China and elsewhere, is also important, especially for young migrants. Analyzes indicate that, while young men and young women hold different motivations for migration, the desire for personal development is a common motivator for young migrants. Results suggest that non-economic incentives may play an important role in youth migration in rural China and that positioning in family structures shapes the susceptibility of individuals to migrate due to altruistic economic motivations.
  • Publication
    Due Distinction: Elite Student Status Hierarchies In China
    (2017-01-01) Chiang, Yi-Lin
    How do students sort each other into different status groups in school? Research primarily conducted in the United States conceptualizes student status hierarchies as multidimensional systems. Scholars portray multidimensional status systems as exclusionary, constructed by and in the best interests of high status students, and disconnected from adult society. However, these theories are less useful for understanding a unidimensional status hierarchy that determines student status based on a single dimension. This study challenges several assumptions based on multidimensional status hierarchies about status hierarchies by providing insights into how unidimensional status hierarchies are constructed, maintained, and justified. Data for this study come from 15 months of ethnography and interviews with 36 socioeconomically elite students, parents, and teachers at six top performing high schools in Beijing. First, I found that Chinese high school students established a unidimensional status hierarchy based solely on test scores, with the students who achieved the highest test scores on daily practice tests having the highest status. Students sorted each other into four status groups: Intellectuals (Xueshen), Studyholics (Xueba), Underachievers (Xuezha), and Losers (Xueruo). This status hierarchy dominated the school. All of the students recognized it as a legitimate basis for according status. Rather than the status hierarchy serving exclusionary purposes by restricting friendships between students from different status groups, students formed inclusive social associations without attention to status because associations did not threaten the status quo. Second, while literature emphasizes the motivation of high status students to maintain the status hierarchy, I observed that both high and low status Chinese students upheld the hierarchy. Finally, scholars imply that the status hierarchies that govern adolescent society are disconnected from adult society, yet in this study, I observed that teachers and parents supported the student status hierarchy and students believed that school status predicted adult status. The findings from this study underscore the need to improve current conceptual models of the nature of status hierarchies and the factors that facilitate the allocation of people into different status groups. While I use the example of elite Chinese adolescents, the findings carry implications for unidimensional status hierarchies among other social groups.
  • Publication
    It’s Not Just about the Money: Gender and Youth Migration from Rural China
    (2015-01-01) Chiang, Yilin; Kao, Grace
    Statistics suggest that young men and women in China migrate at almost equal numbers, but we know less about gender differences in the decision to migrate. We examine the factors associated with migration decisions and the rationales given by young migrants. Our results are consistent with previous figures and show no overall gender differences in susceptibility to migration. However, we find that a sibship structure operates differently on the decisions of boys and girls. We also found that young men were more likely to report that they had moved for purposes of starting a business or personal development than young women, while young women were more likely to report that they had moved to support the tuition of a family member. We argue that, despite the gender parity of the migrant youth population, gender shapes migration decisions by affecting the family circumstances and migration motivations of men and women.
  • Publication
    Who Goes, Who Stays, and Who Studies? Gender, Migration, and Educational Decisions among Rural Youth in China
    (2012-05-25) Chiang, Yilin; Kao, Grace
    Little is known about what affects the decision to migrate in China, despite the estimated 145 million rural migrants that reside in urban areas as of 2009. Drawing on a survey of youth from 100 villages in Gansu Province, we analyze migration and education decisions, with a focus on disparities associated with gender, sibship structure, and academic performance. Results show modest gender differences favoring boys in educational migration, but no gender differences in the overall likelihood of labor migration. Youth with older sisters are less likely to migrate, while youth with younger brothers are more likely to migrate. For girls, having older sisters is also negatively related to being a local or a migrant student, and better early academic performance is related to educational migration. For boys, labor migration may serve as a backup plan in the event of failing the high school entrance examination. Overall, results shed more light on the factors shaping educational migration than labor migration.