Publication Details

Cheng, Z. (2009). Approaches and perspectives in the studies of China's urban poverty. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 3 (11), 109-120.


The paper reviews some research on urban poverty in China. This topic began to attract academic attention in mid- 1990s. In the marketization, the old socialist system in China, which included full employment and comprehensive social welfare for urban citizens, has been replaced by an emerging labor market and a socialized and partially privatized social security. The time lag between the old and establishing systems has thrown a large number of retrenched state workers and migrant workers into poverty and then concentrated the poor in particular areas or communities of city. There is impressive progress on identifying and measuring poverty, as well as casual processes of poverty creation. However, effective policy recommendations on anti-poverty and social security have seldom been suggested. Recent attempts in other countries prove that multidisciplinary approach could provide fresh and innovative perspectives on multidimensional poverty. Hence this is necessary to address the deteriorating urban poverty in China and to reveal its dimensions and characteristics under different conditions.