PEASANTOGRAPHY: FAMILY PORTRAIT 11, 2014-2018, TAMI XIANG. INTERWOVEN DIGITAL COLOUR PRINT, 90X130CM. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST – TAASA Review September 2019

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This article was originally found in the September 2019 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 28, Issue 3, Page 16).

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The main reason for the LBC phenomenon lies in the household registration system (hukou) that treats people from the countryside differently from those in the cities.

Children born in the countryside are registered to a rural rather than an urban household, while children born in the city are registered to an urban household only if their parents are urban. In the history of communist China, working class residents of urban areas in contrast to peasants have long been regarded by the Party as the pioneers and leaders of the revolution.

Parallel urban and rural hukou systems with unequal welfare and treatment were therefore introduced: an urban hukou with its many institutional benefits such as access to education and welfare is considered much better than a rural hukou...