Made in China

Author: Pun Ngai
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822386759
Release Date: 2005-03-15
Genre: Business & Economics

As China has evolved into an industrial powerhouse over the past two decades, a new class of workers has developed: the dagongmei, or working girls. The dagongmei are women in their late teens and early twenties who move from rural areas to urban centers to work in factories. Because of state laws dictating that those born in the countryside cannot permanently leave their villages, and familial pressure for young women to marry by their late twenties, the dagongmei are transient labor. They undertake physically exhausting work in urban factories for an average of four or five years before returning home. The young women are not coerced to work in the factories; they know about the twelve-hour shifts and the hardships of industrial labor. Yet they are still eager to leave home. Made in China is a compelling look at the lives of these women, workers caught between the competing demands of global capitalism, the socialist state, and the patriarchal family. Pun Ngai conducted ethnographic work at an electronics factory in southern China’s Guangdong province, in the Shenzhen special economic zone where foreign-owned factories are proliferating. For eight months she slept in the employee dormitories and worked on the shop floor alongside the women whose lives she chronicles. Pun illuminates the workers’ perspectives and experiences, describing the lure of consumer desire and especially the minutiae of factory life. She looks at acts of resistance and transgression in the workplace, positing that the chronic pains—such as backaches and headaches—that many of the women experience are as indicative of resistance to oppressive working conditions as they are of defeat. Pun suggests that a silent social revolution is underway in China and that these young migrant workers are its agents.

Made in China

Author: PUN Ngai
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
ISBN: 1932643001
Release Date: 2005-04-05
Genre: Business & Economics

As China has evolved into an industrial powerhouse over the past two decades, a new class of workers has developed: the dagongmei, or working girls. The dagongmei are women in their late teens and early twenties who move from rural areas to urban centers to work in factories. Because of state laws dictating that those born in the countryside cannot permanently leave their villages, and familial pressure for young women to marry by their late twenties, the dagongmei are transient labor. They undertake physically exhausting work in urban factories for an average of four or five years before returning home. The young women are not coerced to work in the factories; they know about the twelve-hour shifts and the hardships of industrial labor. Yet they are still eager to leave home. Made in China is a compelling look at the lives of these women, workers caught between the competing demands of global capitalism, the socialist state, and the patriarchal family. Pun Ngai conducted ethnographic work at an electronics factory in southern China’s Guangdong province, in the Shenzhen special economic zone where foreign-owned factories are proliferating. For eight months she slept in the employee dormitories and worked on the shop floor alongside the women whose lives she chronicles. Pun illuminates the workers’ perspectives and experiences, describing the lure of consumer desire and especially the minutiae of factory life. She looks at acts of resistance and transgression in the workplace, positing that the chronic pains—such as backaches and headaches—that many of the women experience are as indicative of resistance to oppressive working conditions as they are of defeat. Pun suggests that a silent social revolution is underway in China and that these young migrant workers are its agents.

Servants of Globalization

Author: Rhacel Parreñas
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804796187
Release Date: 2015-08-26
Genre: Social Science

Servants of Globalization offers a groundbreaking study of migrant Filipino domestic workers who leave their own families behind to do the caretaking work of the global economy. Since its initial publication, the book has informed countless students and scholars and set the research agenda on labor migration and transnational families. With this second edition, Rhacel Salazar Parreñas returns to Rome and Los Angeles to consider how the migrant communities have changed. Children have now joined their parents. Male domestic workers are present in significantly greater numbers. And, perhaps most troubling, the population has aged, presenting new challenges for the increasingly elderly domestic workers. New chapters discuss these three increasingly important constituencies. The entire book has been revised and updated, and a new introduction offers a global, comparative overview of the citizenship status of migrant domestic workers. Servants of Globalization remains the defining work on the international division of reproductive labor.

Chinese Labor in a Korean Factory

Author: Jaesok Kim
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804786126
Release Date: 2013-04-10
Genre: Social Science

Chinese Labor in a Korean Factorydraws on fieldwork in a multinational corporation (MNC) in Qingdao, China, and delves deep into the power dynamics at play between Korean management, Chinese migrant workers, local-level Chinese government officials, and Chinese local gangs. Anthropologist Jaesok Kim examines how governments, to attract MNCs, relinquish parts of their legal rights over these entities, while MNCs also give up portions of their rights as proxies of global capitalism by complying with local government guidelines to ensure infrastructure and cheap labor. This ethnography demonstrates how a particular MNC struggled with the pressure to be increasingly profitable while negotiating the clash of Korean and Chinese cultures, traditions, and classes on the factory floor of a garment corporation. Chinese Labor in a Korean Factory pays particular attention to common features of post-socialist countries. By analyzing the contentious collaboration between foreign management, factory workers, government officials, and gangs, this study contributes not only to the research on the politics of resistance but also to how global and local forces interact in concrete and surprising ways.

Factory Daughters

Author: Diane Lauren Wolf
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520086579
Release Date: 1994-06-09
Genre: History

Taking the reader inside the households where Javanese women live and the factories where they labour, Diane Wolf reveals the contradictions, constraints and changes in women's lives in the Third World. She debunks conventional wisdom about the patriarchal family, while at the same time clearly identifying the complex dynamics of class, gender, agrarian change and industrialization in rural Java.

Precious Records

Author: Susan Mann
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804727449
Release Date: 1997
Genre: History

Most analyses of gender in High Qing times have focused on literature and on the writings of the elite; this book broadens the scope of inquiry to include women's work in the farm household, courtesan entertainment, and women's participation in ritual observances and religion. In dealing with literature, it shows how women's poetry can serve the historian as well as the literary critic, drawing on one of the first anthologies of women's writing compiled by a woman to examine not only literary sensibilities and intimate emotions, but also political judgments, moral values, and social relations.

New Masters New Servants

Author: Hairong Yan
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822388654
Release Date: 2008-11-17
Genre: Social Science

On March 9, 1996, tens of thousands of readers of a daily newspaper in China’s Anhui province saw a photograph of two young women at a local long-distance bus station. Dressed in fashionable new winter coats and carrying luggage printed with Latin letters, the women were returning home from their jobs in one of China’s large cities. As the photo caption indicated, the image represented the “transformation of migrant women”; the women’s “transformation” was signaled by their status as consumers. New Masters, New Servants is an ethnography of class dynamics and the subject formation of migrant domestic workers. Based on her interviews with young women who migrated from China’s Anhui province to the city of Beijing to engage in domestic service for middle-class families, as well as interviews with employers, job placement agencies, and government officials, Yan Hairong explores what these migrant workers mean to the families that hire them, to urban economies, to rural provinces such as Anhui, and to the Chinese state. Above all, Yan focuses on the domestic workers’ self-conceptions, desires, and struggles. Yan analyzes how the migrant women workers are subjected to, make sense of, and reflect on a range of state and neoliberal discourses about development, modernity, consumption, self-worth, quality, and individual and collective longing and struggle. She offers keen insight into the workers’ desire and efforts to achieve suzhi (quality) through self-improvement, the way workers are treated by their employers, and representations of migrant domestic workers on television and the Internet and in newspapers and magazines. In so doing, Yan demonstrates that contestations over the meanings of migrant workers raise broad questions about the nature of wage labor, market economy, sociality, and postsocialism in contemporary China.

Ancestral Leaves

Author: Joseph W. Esherick
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520947627
Release Date: 2011-02-09
Genre: History

Ancestral Leaves follows one family through six hundred years of Chinese history and brings to life the epic narrative of the nation, from the fourteenth century through the Cultural Revolution. The lives of the Ye family—"Ye" means "leaf" in Chinese—reveal the human side of the large-scale events that shaped modern China: the vast and destructive rebellions of the nineteenth century, the economic growth and social transformation of the republican era, the Japanese invasion during World War II, and the Cultural Revolution under the Chinese Communists. Joseph W. Esherick draws from rare manuscripts and archival and oral history sources to provide an uncommonly personal and intimate glimpse into Chinese family history, illuminating the changing patterns of everyday life during rebellion, war, and revolution.

Riding the Black Ship

Author: Aviad E. Raz
Publisher: Harvard Univ Asia Center
ISBN: 0674768949
Release Date: 1999
Genre: Business & Economics

Since it opened in 1983, Tokyo Disneyland has been analyzed mainly as an example of the globalization of the American leisure industry and its organizational culture, particularly the "company manual." By looking at how Tokyo Disneyland is experienced by employees, management, and visitors, Aviad Raz shows that rather than being an agent of Americanization, Tokyo Disneyland is a simulated "America" showcased by and for the Japanese. It is an "America" with a Japanese meaning.

Factory Girls

Author: Leslie T. Chang
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
ISBN: 9780385528528
Release Date: 2008-10-07
Genre: Social Science

An eye-opening and previously untold story, Factory Girls is the first look into the everyday lives of the migrant factory population in China. China has 130 million migrant workers—the largest migration in human history. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang, a former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women, whom she follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines of Dongguan, an industrial city in China’s Pearl River Delta. As she tracks their lives, Chang paints a never-before-seen picture of migrant life—a world where nearly everyone is under thirty; where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a mobile phone; where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, movie theater, and fire department; to posh karaoke bars that are fronts for prostitution; to makeshift English classes where students shave their heads in monklike devotion and sit day after day in front of machines watching English words flash by; and back to a farming village for the Chinese New Year, revealing the poverty and idleness of rural life that drive young girls to leave home in the first place. Throughout this riveting portrait, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family’s migrations, within China and to the West, providing historical and personal frames of reference for her investigation. A book of global significance that provides new insight into China, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and transforming Chinese society, much as immigration to America’s shores remade our own country a century ago.

Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective

Author: Anita Chan
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801455858
Release Date: 2015-03-26
Genre: Political Science

As the “world’s factory” China exerts an enormous pressure on workers around the world. Many nations have had to adjust to a new global political and economic reality, and so has China. Its workers and its official trade union federation have had to contend with rapid changes in industrial relations. Anita Chan argues that Chinese labor is too often viewed from a prism of exceptionalism and too rarely examined comparatively, even though valuable insights can be derived by analyzing China’s workforce and labor relations side by side with the systems of other nations. The contributors to Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective compare labor issues in China with those in the United States, Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. They also draw contrasts among different types of workplaces within China. The chapters address labor regimes and standards, describe efforts to reshape industrial relations to improve the circumstances of workers, and compare historical and structural developments in China and other industrial relations systems. Contributors: Frederick Scott Bentley, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Florian Butollo, Friedrich-Schiller University, Germany; Anita Chan, University of Technology, Sydney, and Australian National University; Chris King-chi Chan, City University of Hong Kong; Yu-bin Chiu, National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan; Sean Cooney, University of Melbourne; Mary Huong Thi Evans, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Navjote Khara, Niagara College; Kevin Lin, University of Technology, Sydney; Mingwei Liu, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Peter Lund-Thomsen, Copenhagen Business School and Nottingham Business School; Boy Lüthje, Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt, Germany and Sun Yat-Sen University, China, and the East-West Center, Honolulu; Khalid Nadvi, University of Manchester; Thomas Nice, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience; Tim Pringle, SOAS, University of London; Katie Quan, University of California–Berkeley and Sun Yat-Sen University, China; Susan J. Schurman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Kaxton Siu, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hong Xue, East China Normal University, Shanghai

Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism

Author: Melissa Wright
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781136081545
Release Date: 2013-01-11
Genre: Social Science

Everyday, around the world, women who work in the Third World factories of global firms face the idea that they are disposable. Melissa W. Wright explains how this notion proliferates, both within and beyond factory walls, through the telling of a simple story: the myth of the disposable Third World woman. This myth explains how young women workers around the world eventually turn into living forms of waste. Disposable Women and Other Myths of Global Capitalism follows this myth inside the global factories and surrounding cities in northern Mexico and in southern China, illustrating the crucial role the tale plays in maintaining not just the constant flow of global capital, but the present regime of transnational capitalism. The author also investigates how women challenge the story and its meaning for workers in global firms. These innovative responses illustrate how a politics for confronting global capitalism must include the many creative ways that working people resist its dehumanizing effects.

Low Pay High Profile

Author: Andrew Ross
Publisher:
ISBN: 1565849191
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Political Science

Andrew Ross presents case studies to illustrate the fight for fair labour. He shows that the exploitation of workers is not just an issue in the developing world, but extends to the degradation of white-collar professions through the increasing casualization of economies in the developed world.

Everyday Utopias

Author: Davina Cooper
Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822377153
Release Date: 2013-11-27
Genre: Social Science

Everyday utopias enact conventional activities in unusual ways. Instead of dreaming about a better world, participants seek to create it. As such, their activities provide vibrant and stimulating contexts for considering the terms of social life, of how we live together and are governed. Weaving conceptual theorizing together with social analysis, Davina Cooper examines utopian projects as seemingly diverse as a feminist bathhouse, state equality initiatives, community trading networks, and a democratic school where students and staff collaborate in governing. She draws from firsthand observations and interviews with participants to argue that utopian projects have the potential to revitalize progressive politics through the ways their innovative practices incite us to rethink mainstream concepts including property, markets, care, touch, and equality. This is no straightforward story of success, however, but instead a tale of the challenges concepts face as they move between being imagined, actualized, hoped for, and struggled over. As dreaming drives new practices and practices drive new dreams, everyday utopias reveal how hard work, feeling, ethical dilemmas, and sometimes, failure, bring concepts to life.

China s Workers Under Assault Exploitation and Abuse in a Globalizing Economy

Author: Anita Chan
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781315502113
Release Date: 2016-07-01
Genre: History

This important book contains case studies with substantive analysis of Chinese workers in a variety of settings: state enterprises, urban collectives, township and village enterprises, domestic private enterprises, and foreign funded enterprises. The cases include urban workers migrant workers from the countryside, and workers who are sent to work outside of China. The analytical framework for these case studies lays out why labor rights violations have been occurring in China and highlights the contex in which these violations operate and the extent to which these selected cases are not isolated incidents. Moreover, the dilemma of Chinese workers is put into international perspective: the context of the international labor market, the setting of competitive minimum wages in Asia, and the concern for Chinese workers' rights taken up by the International Labor Organization (ILO). This book debunks the conventional wisdom that Chinese workers are thriving because the Chinese economy is booming. Indeed the wage structures of these enterprises of different ownership types contribute to widening income disparities in China. The book uncovers what exactly overseas Chinese entrepreneurship (Taiwan and Hong Kong), means at the factory level. And it calls for a new approach to scrutinizing the phenomena of the so-called Chinese economic miracle and it's repercussions on other economies and labor markets.