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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Legal culture of migrant construction workers in China Li, Juan


In the past more than three decades, migrant workers have become an increasingly significant force in promoting social and legal changes in China. As such, their legal culture is worthy of studying for many reasons. This study focuses on the migrant construction workers’ values, ideas, opinions, and attitudes with regard to the general legal system and legal reform in China, especially with respect to the three important aspects of employment relations, including labour contracts, labour dispute resolution, and trade unions, in the context of market economic reform and globalization. Based on an analysis of primary data collected from fieldwork undertaken in Hubei Province, a less developed province in central China, this study explores that imported Western legal norms, such as rule of law, rights, contract, litigation, trade unions, etc., so far, have limited influence on the popular legal culture of Chinese migrant workers, at least in the construction industry; while the traditional local values in China, such as family ethic, morality, and harmony, still play a dominant role in their daily lives.

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