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The Predicament and Outlet of "Ant Tribe" in China

Author: YanZuo
Tutor: TanYingHua
School: Dongbei University of Finance
Course: Sociology
Keywords: Ant Tribe the dual labor market Social mobility social justice
CLC: D669
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2010
Downloads: 524
Quote: 0
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The "Ant Tribe", which first appeared in September of 2009 as a new term in publications, quickly became a hot topic at the end of the year and symbolized a particular meaning in the period of the changing age. The social group which was represented by this new term has also been given more and more attention and discussion by mass media.The "Ant Tribe" is a generalized notion for inhabit groups of the university graduates with low-income. This special social group has some shared features of ant:intelligent, puniness, gregarious. In the last 30 years since the reform and opening up, China had a series of changes on structural factors, including the developing of urbanization, the transformation of the labor market, and the reform of higher education system, etc. However, the unbalanced economic development and the temptation of metropolitans made college graduates all over the country swarmed into the economy developed cities with the hope for a better opportunity. Along with the enrollment expanding, job hunting for college students become more difficult. But there are still a large number of college graduates choose to go to big cities to realize their ideals. The mostly fact is, they live in very difficult situation, and made themselves became the "Ant Tribe". They are normally in the age of 22 to 29, newly graduated from colleges or universities, have a high level of knowledge, but without stable work and income (less than 2000 Yuan/month). Most people live together in the urban-rural joints or the edge of town, working hard and struggling for life.The settlement where most "Ant Tribe" gathered forms a special village. For example, Tang Jialing, Xiao Yuehe is the major village for the Ant Tribe in Beijing. According to statistics, more than 85% people in the village are non-local, only 15% are Beijing local registered resident. The village for college graduates reflects a complicated social problem and as well a challenge for city management. Only from the small Tang Jialing can see through the living structure chart of most young people in China.This thesis takes the "Ant Tribe"in Beijing as the research object to analyze their current situation of living. Then expend this special social group into a larger perspective all around the country to analyze their group characteristics and problems of living, figure out their way to future and the influence toward the society. The theoretical foundation is made up by the theory of elite circulation, the dual labor market theory by J.Piore, and some other theories like social stratification and mobility and so on. Research method of this thesis is a combination of individual cases interview and documentation study. Samples are collected by simple accidental sampling and adjusted properly according to the reality of this region. All data collected from 30 actual interviewees are first-hand, reliable, and valuable to research. The research question needs to be certified is that the "Ant Tribe" is the elite group of low-income people and they are living in lower class of society; the long existence of this phenomenon will raise some social problems.The structure of this thesis includes 6 parts:Chapter 1 is the introduction of the research background, data collecting, and research method. Chapter 2 is the current situation of the Ant Tribe. Mainly focus on the general living condition, environment of living and working, and the group characteristics. Chapter 3 mainly talks about the pressures this group is facing from economic, working, psychological, social identity, and the lacking of social equity; the cause of the appearance of Ant Tribe is analyzed as well. Chapter 4 discusses the trend of development of the Ant Tribe group and the influence to the social structure. Most of the Ant Tribe will move to an upper level in the future and become the reserves for the middle class in China. However, if the mechanism of social mobility is blocked, the potential social risk will affect the harmonious development of the society. Chapter 5 gives references from some matured employment service system in foreign countries and the adjustment made by both government and universities according to the current employment situation to help the Ant Tribe get receive by the society. The last chapter is conclusion. Mainly focus on the impressions the author have during the research.Normally, people like to treat the Ant Tribe as a vulnerable group, but this thesis takes a creative perspective to realize the possibility of the Ant Tribe’s upward mobility. The existence of the Ant Tribe is closely related to China’s current social status and the tendency of social mobility. The mobility of high education group is vertical upward, belongs to talent flow. People in this group have good psychological quality, like to look forward and keep on striving. The life goal of the Ant Tribe is positive; they will move to an upper level in the future and become the reserves for the middle class in China.As members of the generation after 80s, we have the same age like the Ant Tribe; this special social group is just around us. Some of our school mates or friends, or even ourselves are living or going to live as the Ant Tribe. Therefore, during this research, the author has the sympathetic visage and a strong hope that through unremitting endeavor we can finally achieve our life goals. Because of the limit of time and self ability, the result of this research is far from the requirement of a comprehensive study but just a simple analysis on the Ant Tribe phenomenon. In the end, wish our contemporaries can make a plan for the employment in the future and try hard to carry it out.

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