Injury of class : compressed modernity and the struggle of Foxconn workers

Ngai PUN, Huipeng ZHANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Foxconn is a distinctive example of compressed modernity in China, which reworks the temporality and spatiality of globalized production and consumption that not only seriously affect human societies in general, but also specifically the new generation of the Chinese working class. Having grown into monopoly capital on the world market, Foxconn stands out as the new phenomenon of capital concentration and centralization, because of its speed and scale of capital accumulation in all regions of China. Unprecedented in history and incomparable to other enterprises all over the globe, Foxconn now has over one million staff and workers in its industrial empire, and is the sole manufacturer for Apple and other brands. This article looks at how Chinese migrant workers, especially Foxconn workers, were induced to work in the world’s largest electronics factory, subjected to multiple pressures of time and speed, despite the fact that their struggle might lead to suicide on the one hand, but, on the other, might also spur daily and collective resistance. Inevitable conflicts and tragedies generated at the grid of compressed modernity eventually calls for reflection on human development.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


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