Properties of Social Networks for Rural-Urban Migrants in China: A Study in Shenzhen

Haifeng Du, Stanford University
Shuzhuo Li, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Marcus W. Feldman, Stanford University

Using data from “Shenzhen Rural-urban Migrants Survey” in 2005, this paper examines key properties of social networks of rural-urban migrants. Average network length is the average number of links in the shortest path between a pair of nodes in the network, and clustering coefficient is the probability that two nodes connected to a common node are also connected to each other. Compared with random networks, most observed networks have a higher clustering coefficient and approximately average length. Social networks of the rural-urban migrants are not random networks, but exhibit some Small World Phenomena and some characteristics of Scale Free Networks. This paper reveals an efficient way for the spread of behaviors and attitudes among rural-urban migrants, such as shortcuts due to small world phenomena, and hubs for scale free characteristics. Future analysis will use our findings to study cultural evolution during the process of rural-urban migration in China.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Migration, Urbanization, Neighborhood and Residential Context