The Evolution of Son Preference among Rural-Urban Migrants in China: Research Based on Social Network Theory

Wu Haixia, Xi'an Jiaotong University
Xiaoyi Jin, Stanford University

Social interaction through social networks has an impact on the individuals’ attitudes and behaviors. Studies show that, in China, son preference among people in the rural areas is stronger than that of people in urban areas. This paper reveals the evolution of son preference among the rural-urban migrants and its determinants. Using sample data from a survey of temporary immigrants in Shenzhen conducted by the Institute for Population and Development Studies at Xi’an Jiaotong University in April 2005, this paper analyzes the characteristics of the rural-urban migrants’ childbearing discussion network. It employs logistic regression models based on social network theory to analyze the effects of social network, social integration, migration and individual factors on the evolution of son preference among the rural-urban migrants. These findings may help to clarify the causes of the high sex ratio at birth in contemporary urban China.

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