After a quarter of a century of market reform, China has become the workshop of the world and the leading growth engine of the global economy. Its immense labour force accounts for some twenty-nine per cent of the world's total labour pool but all too little is known about Chinese labour beyond the image of workers toiling under appalling sweatshop conditions for extremely low wages.
Working in China introduces the lived experiences of labour in a wide range of occupations and work settings. The chapters of this book cover professional employees such as engineers and lawyers, service workers such as bar hostesses, domestic maids and hotel workers, and industrial workers in a variety of factories. The mosaic of human faces, organizational dynamics and workers' voices presented in the book reflect the complexity of changes and challenges taking place in the Chinese workplace today.
Based on extraordinary and thorough field research, this book will have a wide readership at undergraduate level and beyond, appealing to students and scholars from a myriad of disciplines including Chinese studies, labour studies, sociology and political economy.
About the Author
Ching Kwan Lee is Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, USA.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Mapping the Terrain of Labor Ethnography Ching Kwan Lee Part I: Remaking Class and Community 2. The Unmaking the Chinese Working Class in the Northeastern Rustbelt Ching Kwan Lee 3. "Social Positions": Neighbourhood Transition After the Danwei Sian Victoria Liu 4. Rural "Guerrilla Workfare" Workers and Home Renovation in Urban China Lei Guang 5. A Tale of Two Sales Floors: Changing Service Work Regimes in China Amy Hanser Part II: Reworking Gender 6. Virtual Personalism in Beijing: Learning Deference and Femininity at a Global Luxury Hotel Eileen Otis 7. From Peasant Women to Bar Hostesses: An Ethnography of China's Karaoke Sex Industry Tiantian Zheng 8. Rurality and Labor Process Autonomy: The Waged Labor of Domestic Service Hairong Yan Part III: New Professions and Knowledge Workers 9. The Practice of Law as an Obstacle to Justice: Chinese Lawyers at Work Ethan Michelson 10. Outsourcing as a Way of Life? Knowledge Transfer in the Yangtze Delta Andrew Ross 11. Nationalism, Theft and Management Strategies in the Information Industry of Mainland China Dimitri Kessler 12. Honing the Desired Attitudes: Ideological Work On Insurance Sales Agents Cheris Shun-Ching Chan