CHINA: An Urbanization Nation

View of Pudong district from the Bund, Shanghai, China, 1998 (Sebastião Salgado) View of Pudong district from the Bund, Shanghai, China, 1998 (Sebastião Salgado)

When China allowed free migration between rural and urban areas after Mao Zedong died in 1978, urban populations exploded. Today, nearly half of China’s population live in cities, either permanently or as temporary laborers. This mass migration effects China and the entire world. Our articles explore the economic effects of urbanization, the psychological and emotional effects on migrants, and the relation of urbanization on Chinese immigration into the United States.

Jennifer Fishburn: Hi! I'm Jenny Fishburn, and I am SO glad to be here! Right now I'm a freshman at Brigham Young University in Provo, UT, but I haven't always been here. I am most definitely a proud Hoosier--I was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN, the land of the corn and the crossroads of America! I may not always sound so smart, but I graduatated seventh in my class at Southport High School. I am the youngest of six children and am the only girl from among them (yay me).

I enjoy singing, dancing when I'm not supposed to, laughing, playing, and pretending to be someone/thing else (aka- playing dress-up). I also like to take fun and random pictures of myself, nature, and people who aren't paying attention. I tend to stick my foot in my mouth a lot since I'm not very good at thinking before I speak, and I like to laugh at people who don't know what to think of me. I recently got over a foot-and-a-half of my hair chopped off, so forgive me--I'm feeling a little"light headed."

Matt Godfrey: I graduated in 2003 in British Columbia, Canada, where I attended a local college for one year while working at Tim Hortons, a Canadian donut chain. I transferred to Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2004 and also changed my major from Biology to Communications. I served as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ogden, Utah, from 2005–2007.

After returning from my mission, I earned money for college by teaching people in British Columbia about bears. After one more semester at BYU-Idaho, I transferred to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Since starting to study Chinese at university in 2007, my interest in Chinese history, culture, and current issues grew quickly. This fall, as part of a study abroad program, I will live in China for one semester. I’m excited to see first-hand the current rural migration issues in China’s major cities. I hope to find a career in Advertising that will allow me to work with many Chinese companies and the Chinese government, possibly contributing toward a solution to migrant poverty.

Trenton Simmons: I am a freshman in Brigham Young University and I am can't wait to serve my mission this June. I will be serving in Richmond, Virginia. Currently my major is Neuroscience and with this major I hope to attend Medical School in hopes to eventually become a Neurologist after very many years of school. I hope to return to New York to work on my residency program post Medical School.

I love football, chocolate, girls, practical jokes, my dog T.J., and sleeping, but not necessarily in that order. I love school and good thing too because I'm gunna be in it for awhile! I HATE drama, in-your-face egotistical people that are just looking to get smacked in the face, and getting hit in the back of the head so don't start, be, or do any of those. Other than that, I'm pretty laid back and extremely hard to anger or offend. I am proudful not prideful, and very distracted unless my focus is on something I am passionate about! I am extremely sarcastic and I love busting on people, so if I make fun of you don't take it to heart because it means I think you're alright. But don't feel special because I make fun of almost everyone. I have a tendency to break my phones in half; it's a problem.

The Group L to R: Jennifer Fishburn, Matt Godfrey, Trent Simmons In Action Jenny, Matt, and Trent, explaining the big issues.