The Bartlett School of Planning


Mengran Xu

Research subject

Migrants’ attitudes towards social integration in urban China

Primary supervisor: Professor Fulong Wu
Secondary supervisor: Dr Susan Moore
Starting date: September 2019
Projected completion date: September 2022

Social integration has become one of top issues in many countries as migration is prevalent worldwide and social integration is important for both individuals’ wellbeing and social stability. Chinese government has paid more attention to internal migrants’ social integration since 2010s. However, the policy agenda in China appears to assume that migrants can achieve integration once institutional barriers are lifted. It is important to notice the unique Chinese context. Different from immigrants in western countries, internal migrants in China mostly have the same ethnicity and are only defined by hukou system. No matter how long they reside in destinations, they will not become natives unless attaining local hukou. Thus, migrants in China are often considered as passive recipients instead of active agents. This study attempts to fill this void by exploring migrants’ attitudes towards social integration in urban China.


Mengran is a PhD student at the Bartlett School of Planning. Under the supervision of Professor Fulong Wu and Dr. Susan Moore, she hopes to exhibit the life of migrants in urban China and explore the dynamics of their social integration.

Mengran got her bachelor degree from Nanjing University where she studied geography. During her undergraduate period, she developed spatial thinking and learnt basic research methods of geographic science. Later, she pursued master degree at Peking University and majored in Human Geography. During this three-year period, she actively absorbed knowledge from other disciplines, such as economics and sociology, and expected that interdisciplinary learning would broaden her horizons and enhance her research abilities.