Permalink to this Image | Gallery of Rachel's Works 4 Essays Yingfeng Wu | New York Academy of Medicine says: November 15, 2017 at 5:27 pm The men and women in these few photos represent a newly emerging social class in China: the rural-urban migrant workers. From 1958 to 1978 the Chinese government prohibited farmers from leaving their countryside residences, and forced farmers to deliver their agricultural produce to the government at low prices so that the government could use income from the price differences between the industrial and agricultural products for industrialization, and to provide decent social welfare for the urban residents. As a result, a rural- urban dual society emerged. The most recent economic reform, which started in the 1980s, has gradually broken the rural-urban boundary. Rural residents have been allowed to find jobs in cities. However, in order to protect urban workers many local urban governments still have restrictions on what jobs the migrant works can take. In addition, because migrant workers often have relatively low education and few skills, they have usually landed in construction industry, service sectors or factories, doing dirty, manual and low income jobs. They often face such problems as not being paid on time, extended working hours, poor living conditions, lack of health insurance, and separation from their children. There are about 120 - 140 millions rural-urban migrant workers in China as of 2005. Prof. Dr. Li Hanlin, Vice Director | Institute of Sociology, The Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing China says: November 15, 2017 at 5:32 pm The presence of a huge number of peasant workers in Chinese cities is a new and significant phenomenon following the economic reform in China 1978. The large-scale of rural-urban migration has first of all brought about a flourishing of the urban economy, mostly under public ownership. The small traders were the first ones coming to the cities and they were able to provide the urban residents with convenient supply of fresh produce at free markets. Then there came to the cities people in almost all trades: house-keepers, small artisans, cooks and helpers, construction workers, contract workers, to name a few. Peasant workers were under a free labor market, a sharp contrast to the largely state-controlled labor system at the time, featuring lifetime employment and a low level of efficiency. David S. Gochman | Professor Emeritus, University of Louisville; Director, Health Behavior Systems says: November 15, 2017 at 5:33 pm The photographs of persons using "animate" as opposed to "mechanical" power and energy are striking. Examples are the images of the French bicycle cart in “modern” France, a developed country; and the African boatman; the clothes lines in Venice – again in "modern "Italy; the Guatemalan communal laundry and clothesline images; the Chinese man pulling a cart; the Chinese woman carrying water buckets; the Guatemalan child carrying goods on her head; the Cuban man plowing. Persons living in the “developed”/ industrialized world are so often caught up in Western / Eurocentric culture and technology that they take for granted that machines will take care of most of their tasks; they need to be reminded that so much of the world uses human or other animate sources of power to accomplish the tasks of everyday living. Ms. Tanur's poignant images convey this message most strongly. kemilse says: January 22, 2018 at 12:38 pm When I see this picture the first thing that come to my mind is “Is Chinese women’s are working their but off like my countries females?” , honestly I am sure this woman grabbing the two items on her shoulder is different from my countries. If you look at Ethiopian women’s they do a lots of stuffs like they clean the house feed the family grab water from river and finally they carry some items like the one in the picture to sell it to the market. When all burdens were under the shoulders of our women, the men just sit and hangout with their friends and wait for the girl to bring what he can eat and drink. This is the backwardness of our men’s especially in rural areas and sometimes in urban areas. The picture express itself more than a word, where she come from, how she is leading her life and how she support her family. In my country, especially in rural areas women do everything, they suffer for the family. We need to stand against the hard labor women’s do in the whole Africa and the whole world. You must be a Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize applicant to submit an essay response.