Out of Rural Community While in the Family: The New Form of Work-and-Family Linkage of Migrant Women Workers in the Construction Site

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 11:00
Location: Hörsaal 10 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Lin CHEN, National Taiwan University, Taiwan
Sui Gong Fu Nv is used to define migrant peasant women workers who accompany their husbands to metropolitans to work and live in the same space. SGFNs left rural places to construction sites so they have broken free from complicated family relationship and the supervision from relatives and acquaintances in rural communities. The one-to-one link in each pair of couple may bring some certain changes to SGFNs’ status and power in the core-family.

I respectively conducted the first time fieldwork in Chang Ping district in Beijing suburb from October to December in 2012 and the second time from July to August in 2015.  Under the sub-contracting system, there was a hierarchy within workers in the construction site, including labor contractors(Bao Gong Tou),vice labor contractors, skilled and unskilled workers. Compared with two years ago, there are more and more SGFNs in the construction sites and their age tends to be younger. It is common for spousal workers to do some specific types of work like kitchen work and elevator work. 

The research studies the group in three theoretical perspectives. Production regime: The share of work and the access to salaries under the fixed production regime can reveal the employment’s influence on family relationship; Dormitory system: The daily activities and social network in the dormitory is equally important when viewing the employment’s effects on women’s lives; Allocation of housework between every husband and wife: It is helpful to see the couple’s coordination in the special construction site.

Based on cases study in Beijing, the article breaks through the traditional conception on the controversy between the Patriarchy and women’s autonomy. It proposes that these women respond to their own roles in the family in a more positive and initiative way in the working site. The work and family are interactive for SGFNs.