Gender Differences in Social Support Networks of China's Rural-Urban Migrants: A Whole-Network Analysis

Yike Ren, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Haifeng Du, Stanford University

When rural-urban migrants enter and reside in cities, their social networks are reconstructed, especially their social support networks (including instrumental support, emotional support and social contact support networks). This has a significant influence on their work and life in cities. This study explores whether there is a gender difference in social support networks of the rural-urban migrants during the process of social network reconstruction in contemporary China. The data used in this paper are from “Shenzhen Rural-urban Migrants Survey”, conducted by the Institute for Population and Development Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong University in April 2005. Employing social network analysis methods, this paper focuses on the whole network. The structural properties of the social support networks among rural-urban migrants are analyzed quantitatively. The results show that in the social support network of the rural-urban migrants there is a significant gender difference in individuals, dyads, triads, as well as in whole network.

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