Beyond organized dependence: A study of workers' livelihood and role perception in Guangzhou

Ka-ho MOK, Wai-lun CHOW

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Research


Guangdong is the province one step faster in China, and Guangzhou is the city one step faster in Guangdong. As residents of one of the most economically advanced cities in China, Guangzhou citizens have generally experienced improved living standards and a better quality of life since the reform started in the late 1970s. But what is also true is that economic transformation, particularly the take-off of a market economy in the 1990s, has widened the income gap between different occupational groups. Unlike in the Mao era, in which workers serving in the state sector were a privileged class enjoying a high degree of job security and comprehensive welfare benefits, workers in the post-Mao period have found themselves in a disadvantageous position. Nowadays, state workers in mainland China complain about their declining living standard and the lowering of their social status, especially when compared with other occupational groups. The principal goal of this paper is to examine workers’ livelihood with particular reference to how Guangzhou workers perceive and evaluate their quality of life and social status. This paper is based upon on our recent fieldwork conducted in Guangzhou. More specifically, this paper is to discuss the significance of the study, on workers livelihood in mainland China.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMacau and its neighbors toward the 21st century : Proceedings of the international symposium organized by the Faculty of Social Sciences and humanities at the University of Macau 2-3 June 1997
Place of PublicationMacau
PublisherPublications Center, University of Macau & Macau Foundation
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9789729763199
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond organized dependence: A study of workers' livelihood and role perception in Guangzhou'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this