【经管院每周系列讲座第331期】Social Ties, Social Support, and Group Comparison: Psychological Wellbeing of Rural Migrants in China
Title:Social Ties, Social Support, and Group Comparison: Psychological Wellbeing of Rural Migrants in China
Speaker:Shuzhuo Li, Xi’an Jiaotong University
Host:Bing Xu, associate professor, SWUFE
Time:14:00-15:30, March 9, 2018
Venue:Room 309, Tongbo building, Liulin Campus
Abstract：The dominant perspective of migration literature suggests that social networks facilitate the process of migrant adaptation However, most studies on migrant psychological well-being that draw on the social network approach are limited in three aspects. First, most studies do not differentiate network members as local or migrant. Second, studies tend to focus on network size, but recent studies argue that maintaining larger social networks does not necessarily lead to increased social support. Finally, some studies argue that the positive effect of social networks on the psychological well-being of migrants may be washed away by the negative effect of the migrants’ social comparison with their reference group. Using data from a recent study conducted in 2016 in Guangzhou, we address these limitations by considering simultaneously the network effects, perceived social support, and perceived social comparison. We further differentiate network members into local and migrant members. The study shows that social support and social comparison are important factors in shaping the psychological well-being of rural migrants in Guangzhou, China. After all, people move away from home to seek better opportunities. If things do not work out and they think their social status is the same as that of the previous generation or not as good as that of local residents, they feel disappointed, which may affect their psychological well-being. The extent to which social support can buffer this negative relationship is limited.