Migrant labor in China : post-socialist transformations

Research output: Scholarly Books | Reports | Literary WorksBook (Author)peer-review


Long known as the world's factory, China is the largest manufacturing economy ever seen, accounting for more than 10% of global exports. China is also, of course, home to the largest workforce on the planet, the crucial element behind its staggering economic success. But who are China’s workers who keep the machine running, and how is the labor process changing under economic reform?

Pun Ngai, a leading expert in factory labor in China, charts the rise of China as a “world workshop” and the emergence of a new labor force in the context of the post-socialist transformations of the last three decades. The book analyzes the role of the state and transnational interests in creating a new migrant workforce deprived of many rights and social protection. As China increases its output of high-value, high-tech products, particularly for its own growing domestic market of middle-class consumers, workers are increasingly voicing their discontent through strikes and protest, creating new challenges for the Party-State and the global division of labor.

Blending theory, politics, and real-world examples, this book will be an invaluable guide for upper-level students and non-specialists interested in China’s economy and Chinese politics and society.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherPolity Press
Number of pages200
ISBN (Electronic)9781509503384
ISBN (Print)9780745671741, 9780745671758
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameChina Today
PublisherPolity Press


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