Marcella S. Cassiano, a PhD Candidate in Sociology at the University of Alberta, joined On the Move Partnership as a Research Assistant to Dr. Sara Dorow. In the past two years (2013-2015) she assisted Dr. Dorow in a number of activities such as qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis.
Marcella’s doctoral research discusses the institutional mechanisms that China uses to govern and control its citizens. She is particularly focused on the “household registration system,” a registration mechanism that classifies Chinese citizens according to birthplace, type of occupation, and place of residence. Until the beginning of its reform in the early 2000s, this registration system restricted all sorts of geographical mobility in China. Committed to reducing the social inequalities created by immobility, this mechanism’s reform released geographical movements in the country, facilitating the migration of more than 220 million rural workers to urban areas between 2000 and 2015; with another 100 million being expected to follow the same path until 2020. Such a reform also includes the design of basic conditions for rural migrants to access urban resources and make their own life choices regarding mobility, family, education, and career. Given this context, Marcella’s research analyzes whether and how the reform of such a registration represents the emergence of new state capacities that govern and obtain obedience from its subjects (i.e., citizens) through voluntary self-discipline and self-governance, therefore fostering individual autonomy in various domains of quotidian life.
Population governance—including mechanisms that collect data on populations and regulate mobility—constitutes her primary area of research.
Cassiano, Marcella S. et al. (forthcoming) Chinese Mobilities, Transnational Resources: Discourses of Investment and Work in Alberta’s Oil Economy In: Wong, Lloyd. Chinese Mobilities and Canada. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Dorow, Sara, Cassiano, Marcella, and Chad Doerksen. (2015) Live-in Caregivers in Fort McMurray: a Socioeconomic Footprint. St. John’s: On the Move Partnership. Available online.
Cassiano, Marcella and Phintener, Marcelo. (2004) Aspectos psicossociais da (i)migração: uma síntese. China em Estudo, DLO FFLCH – USP, n.6 p.123-142, Julho.
Cassiano, Marcella et al. Albertans’ Views on China. 2013 Annual China Institute Survey. Edmonton: China Institute of the University of Alberta. Available online.
Schmidt, H., Houlden, G., Zheng, J. and Cassiano, Marcella. Albertans’ Views on China. 2012 Annual China Institute Survey. Edmonton: China Institute of the University of Alberta. Available online.