As I prepare for my research abroad, I have to wonder what implications my research might have on public policy in China. I have studied some policy in school, but it has always been in the context of the United States. China has a different governmental system that I will need to gradually learn about. In the meantime, these are the main ethical principles for me to consider as I conduct my research abroad.
- Wealth disparity: Cities represent a place of economic and educational opportunity. How can the government help reduce the growing disparities in education between children of families who can afford to move to larger cities and those who cannot?
- Unequal opportunity: Without a local hukou (household identification or registration), migrants often cannot access the services that local governments provide. How can the government reform this policy to make it more inclusive toward the millions of migrants who are marginalized?
- Conflicting views: Local populations often blames migrants for rising rates of crime and unemployment. Due to pressure from their citizens, local governments have imposed discriminatory rules against migrants. How can the government and other organizations work to improve the perception that urban citizens have of rural migrants? Would a more-informed perspective on the lives of migrant populations influence the rate of policy reform in China?