Dramaturgical performances and work-leisure dynamics in rural-to-urban domestic migrations

Monica Z. Li, Monika Stodolska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Situated against the backdrop of the dramatic socio-economic transformation of the Chinese society that propelled mass rural-to-urban migrations, this study focused on a group of female migrant workers who worked in the city as paid live-in-caregivers. The research explored how their work and leisure lives were related to their self-perceptions, self-expressions and social interactions. A total of 18 in-depth semi-structured interviews with female migrant workers who had moved from rural areas of China to the capital city of Beijing and worked as home caregivers were conducted. By adopting Goffman’s front stage and back stage model and bridging the literature in the fields of migration, caregiving, and leisure, the study examined the experiences and personal meanings of being a migrant caregiver and the strategies and practices migrant caregivers used to present and assert themselves in the everyday life of migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-614
Number of pages12
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2018


  • China
  • Rural-to-urban migrations
  • caregiving
  • dramaturgical model
  • work/leisure relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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