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Palgrave Macmillan

Working Class Formation in Taiwan

Fractured Solidarity in State-Owned Enterprises, 1945-2012

ISBN 9781137404763
Publication Date June 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Ming-sho Ho applies Marxist theoretical perspective to understand the postwar trajectory of Taiwan's state-sector workers. A global and comparative framework is used to examine the particularity of Taiwan's working class. It revises the stereotypical image of labor docility by showing ethnicity, party-state, and internal labor market produces intra-class divides and generates a variety of workers' resistance even under the repressive rule of one-party authoritarianism. The book looks at the rise of independent labor movement in the wake of political liberalization in the late 1980s. The similar current of social movement unionism of South Africa, South Korea and Brazil is also present in this oft-neglected case. Ho observes how labor activism gradually resides as democracy is consolidated and neo-liberalism becomes the new ideological hegemony.

Ming-sho Ho is Professor of Sociology at National Taiwan University, Taiwan.

1. A Historical Institutionalist Approach to Working-Class Formation
2. Researching Taiwan's Industrial Workers
3. Politics of Ethnicity: Neo-colonialism and Revolutionary Insurgency
4. Politics of Partisanship: Party-State Mobilization and Ritualism
5. Politics of Position: The Perverse Effect of Internal Labor Market Reform
6. Moonlighting and Petty Bargaining
7. From Social Movement Unionism to Economic Unionism
8. Rethinking Institution, Solidarity, and Resistance

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Reviews

"Theoretically informed and rich in empirical findings, this book provides a vivid portrait of the inter-class and intra-class dynamics of Taiwanese workers and their movements. The book compellingly tells a story of workers' resistance under the authoritarian rule and the upsurge of their movements with democratization of Taiwan. Ming-sho Ho's work also makes an important contribution to comparative studies of labor movements, especially to the under-researched area of comparative studies among non-Western countries." - Akira Suzuki, Professor and Deputy Director, The Ohara Institute for Social Research, Hosei University, Japan
"This book truly illuminates some of the peculiarities of Taiwan and how it has been buffeted by a succession of intersecting external and internal oppressions. The beauty of this history of working class 'resistance' lies in the specification of the formation, fracturing, and periodization of the Taiwanese working class through a constant comparison with a wide range of other national working classes while at the same time recognizing its internal heterogeneity through a detailed comparison, based on careful research, of working class organization in sugar and oil refining." – Michael Burawoy, Honorary Distinguished Professor, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
"This book brings readers on a sociological journey of the formation, transformation, and reformation of workers consciousness in state-owned enterprises of Taiwan since World War II. In what is described as 'fractured solidarity', these workers in the more or less privileged working class sub-segment have exercised guanxi, ritualism, petty bargaining, and resistance so as to form their 'class awareness'." - Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, Distinguished Research Fellow and Director, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
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