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Series in Asian Labor and Welfare Policies

Chinese Migrant Workers and Employer Domination

Comparisons with Hong Kong and Vietnam

Authors: Siu, Kaxton

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  • Examines the changing relationship between Chinese migrant workers and factory management
  • Considers the different ways in which employers dominate migrant workers
  • Discusses the impact of China's industrialization and involvement in global capitalism on the lives of migrant workers
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  • ISBN 978-981-329-123-2
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  • ISBN 978-981-329-122-5
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About this book

This book explores three major changes in the circumstances of the migrant working class in south China over the past three decades, from historical and comparative perspectives. It examines the rise of a male migrant working population in the export industries, a shift in material and social lives of migrant workers, and the emergence of a new non-coercive factory regime in the industries. By conducting on-site fieldwork regarding Hong Kong-invested garment factories in south China, Hong Kong and Vietnam, alongside factory-gate surveys in China and Vietnam, this book examines how and why the circumstances of workers in these localities are dissimilar even when under the same type of factory ownership. In analyzing workers’ lives within and outside factories, and the expansion of global capitalism in East and Southeast Asia, the book contributes to research on production politics and everyday life practice, and an understanding of how global and local forces interact.


About the authors

Kaxton Siu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Applied Social Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong. He researches on labor and migration in China, Vietnam, Japan and Hong Kong. He has published in peer-reviewed journals, such as Politics and Society, China Journal, Youth and Society, and British Journal of Social Work.

Reviews

“The book provides a sophisticated analysis of the work culture, lifestyles and forms of management of garment workers in Shenzhen, China, taking into account the historical pattern of development, the socio-demographic characteristics of the labour force and the dynamics of global industry. It is an excellent piece of work.” (Simon Clarke, Emeritus Professor, University of Warwick, UK) 

“This is a very well written, empirically strong, carefully integrated and clearly presented book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It presents novel empirical developments and an original interpretation of the position of workers inside the Chinese (and Vietnamese) garment industries. Anyone interested in understanding work and employment in China today should read this book.” (Chris Smith, Professor, Royal Holloway University of London, UK)

“Thirty some years since China’s integration with the global economy, this study provides a very knowledgeable perspective on the emergence of a new working class.  Kaxton Siu’s interesting ethnography illuminates major changes in migrant factory workers’ everyday work and life experiences, and he analyses this in light of alternative paths taken by workers he has interviewed in Vietnam and Hong Kong. The book marks a new stage in research and conceptualization about China’s new workforce in face of a shifting managerial regime.” (Anita Chan, Professor, Australian National University, Australia, and editor of The China Journal)

“This insightful, highly readable book is based on extensive research among factory workers in China, Hong Kong and Vietnam. To gain deeper understanding, Kaxton Siu even lived together for half a year with several Chinese migrant factory workers. The fascinating descriptions of work, daily life and attitudes are bolstered by Siu’s illuminating analytical comparisons of factory life, managerial modes of control, and workers’ agency in the three regions.” (Jonathan Unger, Professor, Australian National University, Australia)


Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • Introduction: Modes of Domination Over Chinese Migrant Industrial Workers

    Pages 1-21

    Siu, Kaxton

  • Hong Kong Female Garment Workers and China’s Open Door

    Pages 23-45

    Siu, Kaxton

  • Chinese Migrant Workers’ Everyday Lives in the Early 1990s and Late 2000s

    Pages 47-84

    Siu, Kaxton

  • State-Endorsed Exploitation and a Segmented Labor Market in Shenzhen’s Garment Industry

    Pages 85-113

    Siu, Kaxton

  • Power and Domination in the Chinese Garment Workplace

    Pages 115-153

    Siu, Kaxton

Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-981-329-123-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-981-329-122-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Chinese Migrant Workers and Employer Domination
Book Subtitle
Comparisons with Hong Kong and Vietnam
Authors
Series Title
Series in Asian Labor and Welfare Policies
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-981-329-123-2
DOI
10.1007/978-981-32-9123-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-981-329-122-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 232
Number of Illustrations
3 b/w illustrations, 14 illustrations in colour
Topics