Download Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and by Ching Kwan Lee PDF

By Ching Kwan Lee

This research opens a serious point of view at the gradual dying of socialism and the rebirth of capitalism within the world's so much dynamic and populous state. in accordance with notable fieldwork and large interviews in chinese language cloth, clothing, equipment, and loved ones equipment factories, Against the legislation finds a emerging tide of work unrest usually hidden from the world's realization. delivering a wide political and monetary research of this exertions fight including fine-grained ethnographic element, the ebook portrays the chinese language operating type as workers' tales spread in bankrupt kingdom factories and worldwide sweatshops, in crowded dormitories and distant villages, at highway protests in addition to in quiet disenchantment with the corrupt officialdom and the fledgling felony approach.

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Additional info for Against the Law: Labor Protests in China's Rustbelt and Sunbelt

Example text

At the apex of this hierarchy were the permanent state workers, or workers in state-owned enterprises with urban household registration. In 1981, at the beginning of reform, this labor aristocracy accounted for 42 percent of the entire industrial labor force and produced 75 percent of total industrial output. Their employment conditions epitomized “socialism’s superiority”: cradle-to-grave welfare, permanent job tenure, housing provision, lifelong medical and pension benefits, and superior wages.

Over time, we may expect Chinese workers to develop greater capacity for solidarity than what they have so far demonstrated. 60 In China, institutions of state socialism are partially but not totally dismantled, while a contract-based capitalist employment system is being only unevenly instituted. Values, norms, and regulatory frameworks of state-labor-capital relations are in the process of formation and contestation. Within narrow limits, institutional uncertainty generates multiple modes of labor strife and the simultaneous invocation of different worker traditions and idioms of insurgency.

40 Notwithstanding its heuristic value, the concept of “rightful resistance” does not take us beyond describing a way of “framing” by those involved in resistance, who turn the regime’s policy and legitimating myths into weapons of the weak. Giving short shrift to the historical or theoretical conditions for the emergence, mode of mobilization, and dynamics of rightful resistance, O’Brien and Li fail both to illuminate the specific conflict of interest between different levels of the state and to connect the modes of accumulation and legitimation to the constitution of interests and action modes among the resisters.

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