Literary activities and social adaptation of migrant poets

LIU Chang1

(1.School of Sociology, Wuhan University)

【Abstract】Literary writing constitutes a way for an individual to regulate the relationship between himself and his structural situation in the process of constructing the self. Literary writing of adapting migrant poets presents three ways to cope with their life situations: to remedy the emotional injury caused by life opportunities, to accumulate cultural capital to transcend the structural situation and achieve upward mobility, and to temporarily withdraw from or transcend the life situation. Different from passive assimilation or demand-based progressive social adaptation, the literary activities of migrant poets reveal a subjectivity-oriented growing adaptation. Individuals seek adaptation to the structural situation while maintaining a degree of tension and disengagement. The self-construction mainly presents a form of the ego, which seeks the balance of economic opportunity and spiritual emotion, aiming for self-development.

【Keywords】 migrant poet; literary activity; social adaptation; structural situation; self-construction;


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(Translated by GUO Changlei)


    [1]. (1) There were also views that some migrant poets hoped to be recognized by the mainstream, which made their poetry writing utilitarian and weakeneds the expression of subjectivity (Sun, 2014). [^Back]

    [2]. (2) People’s names in the cases are anonymous according to the Pinyin rule. [^Back]

    [3]. (3) Since 2007, the migrant poet group has published six volumes of Selected Works of Chinese Migrant Poets with one volume every one to two years. Considering the feasibility and time span for the poetry text analysis, this paper selects two volumes of the publication of 2008 and 2014 for coding content. [^Back]

    [4]. (4) Because some poems involve many themes and may have many codes, the total number of poems on each theme exceeds the total number of poems. In addition, a few poems are abstract and obscure, and they are difficult to determine the meaning for getting a code, so we do not code and classify them. [^Back]

    [5]. (5) The titles of poems are noted in parentheses, but the authors and the sources of the poems are not noted but anonymous. [^Back]


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This Article


CN: 11-1100/C

Vol 34, No. 06, Pages 115-138+244-245

November 2019


Article Outline


  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literary activities and social adaptation of migrant poets
  • 3 Research methods and cases
  • 4 Case analyses
  • 5 Conclusions and discussion
  • Footnote