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Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective (Paperback)
  • Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective (Paperback)

Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective (Paperback)

Paperback 296 Pages / Published: 21/05/2015
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As the "world's factory" China exerts an enormous pressure on workers around the world. Many nations have had to adjust to a new global political and economic reality, and so has China. Its workers and its official trade union federation have had to contend with rapid changes in industrial relations. Anita Chan argues that Chinese labor is too often viewed from a prism of exceptionalism and too rarely examined comparatively, even though valuable insights can be derived by analyzing China's workforce and labor relations side by side with the systems of other nations.The contributors to Chinese Workers in Comparative Perspective compare labor issues in China with those in the United States, Australia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Germany, Russia, Vietnam, and Taiwan. They also draw contrasts among different types of workplaces within China. The chapters address labor regimes and standards, describe efforts to reshape industrial relations to improve the circumstances of workers, and compare historical and structural developments in China and other industrial relations systems. Contributors: Frederick Scott Bentley, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Florian Butollo, Friedrich-Schiller University, Germany; Anita Chan, University of Technology, Sydney, and Australian National University; Chris King-chi Chan, City University of Hong Kong; Yu-bin Chiu, National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan; Sean Cooney, University of Melbourne; Mary Huong Thi Evans, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Navjote Khara, Niagara College; Kevin Lin, University of Technology, Sydney; Mingwei Liu, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Peter Lund-Thomsen, Copenhagen Business School and Nottingham Business School; Boy Luthje, Institute of Social Research, Frankfurt, Germany and Sun Yat-Sen University, China, and the East-West Center, Honolulu; Khalid Nadvi, University of Manchester; Thomas Nice, Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience; Tim Pringle, SOAS, University of London; Katie Quan, University of California-Berkeley and Sun Yat-Sen University, China; Susan J. Schurman, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; Kaxton Siu, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Hong Xue, East China Normal University, Shanghai

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801479939
Number of pages: 296
Weight: 482 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 17 mm


"Most academic research about the working conditions of Chinese factory workers has been focused on China itself, with little or no reference and comparison to workers and working conditions in other countries. However, this new book edited by Chan (China Research Center, Univ. of Technology, Sydney, Australia) attempts to convince readers that China is not exceptional and that it is critical to use a comparative perspective as an analytical tool to explain Chinas labor conditions."

-- R.M. Ramazani * Choice *

"Anita Chan is one of the world's leading scholars on Chinese labor issues, and this book builds on her interest in framing labor in China in a comparative way. This book avoids the many binaries that place China-for better or worse-in the 'exceptional' category and instead evaluates the changing Chinese labor regime in light of other countries' experiences. The approach is nuanced-the contributors note differences within China, over time, regionally, and by sector, and they also situate China within the context of larger issues reflecting the globalization of supply chains and production."

-- Richard P. Appelbaum, MacArthur Chair in Global and International Studies and Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, co-author of Behind the Label: Inequality in the Los Angeles Apparel Industry

"China's extraordinary size and speed of change, compounded by its unique political economy, often defies comparison. By questioning the prevailing notion of 'Chinese exceptionalism,' the authors of the book challenge students of labor relations and also policymakers to rethink their approaches to the challenge of labor in the factory of the world."

-- Changhee Lee, ILO (International Labour Office)

"Countries are not islands! Globalizing forces continue to integrate and competitively align economies to emerging world standards. Workers in countries display national and systemic traits, and authoritarian capitalism in China presents a distinctive identity but also a model and multidimensional template. This book provides a much-needed comparative perspective, simultaneously bringing out key points of difference and commonality between Chinese and other workers."

-- Chris Smith, coeditor of Working Life

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