Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

Mobilities and Aspiration to a Good Life: Exploring Motorcycle Taxi Driving in Sanya, China

Sun, June 26, 8:30 to 10:20am, Shikokan (SK), Floor: 1F, 121


Mobilities are profoundly shaping everyday practices and people’s pursuit for a good future in the contemporary China. It has observed a large-scale of regional and inter-regional migration over the country since the economic reform. Numerous people leave home and flow into cities, looking for a better life. This study investigates regional migrants in Sanya, a rapidly growing city in south China, and examines their work as motorcycle taxi drivers, whose driving mobilities in urban areas are under strict regulation and outlawed by the local government. In dominant discourses, motorcycle taxi driving is irregular, dangerous, unwanted and environmentally unfriendly. The everyday life of motorcycle taxi riders are made unpredictable under the constant pressure from the government. Their happiness, fear, frustration and anger are largely dependent on government regulation, encounter with customers and daily earning during work mobilities in the city. Their mundane experiences have strongly influenced their self-representation as an outsider in Sanya. Drawing on the wave of emotion and affect and the construction of subjectivity, this study seeks to explore social inequality and marginalization of migrant workers in the changing Chinese cities.