Find your perfect holiday reading
Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance (Paperback)
  • Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance (Paperback)
zoom

Inside China's Automobile Factories: The Politics of Labor and Worker Resistance (Paperback)

(author)
£20.99
Paperback 258 Pages / Published: 16/07/2015
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
In Inside China's Automobile Factories, Lu Zhang explores the current conditions, subjectivity, and collective actions of autoworkers in the world's largest and fastest-growing automobile manufacturing nation. Based on years of fieldwork and extensive interviews conducted at seven large auto factories in various regions of China, Zhang provides an inside look at the daily factory life of autoworkers and a deeper understanding of the roots of rising labor unrest in the auto industry. Combining original empirical data and sophisticated analysis that moves from the shop floor to national political economy and global industry dynamics, the book develops a multilayered framework for understanding how labor relations in the auto industry and broader social economy can be expected to develop in China in the coming decades.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316500569
Number of pages: 258
Weight: 450 g
Dimensions: 230 x 158 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Lu Zhang's highly readable and insightful book offers a fascinating perspective on the recent wave of strikes in China's vast and growing automobile industry, drawing on extensive fieldwork in seven different auto factories. Highlighting the militancy of young, highly educated temporary auto assembly workers, who live in factory dormitories and often use social media as an organizing tool, Zhang shows how they leverage the ideological legacy of state socialism to challenge the logic of profit maximization in the world's most dynamic market economy. It is difficult to imagine a more intriguing case study of twenty-first-century labor unrest.' Ruth Milkman, Graduate Center, City University of New York
'Essential reading for anyone interested in labor's fate, not just in China, but throughout a new world of work in which states and corporate managers have created a diabolical set of legal and occupational categories that have divided workers and subverted solidarity. The power of Zhang's scholarship arises both from her gritty fieldwork in a series of Chinese factories as well as her sophisticated understanding of contemporary capitalism.' Nelson Lichtenstein, MacArthur Foundation Chair in History, University of California, Santa Barbara
'A worthy successor to the pioneering labor and social movement studies of Burawoy, Silver, Perry and Lee.' Mark Selden, Senior Research Associate, East Asia Program, Cornell University, New York
'A must-read ethnography ... Zhang contributes to the study of Chinese working-class formation with an excellent case.' Pun Ngai, author of Made in China: Factory Women Workers in a Global Workplace (2005)
'At first glance, this work by Zhang ... appears to be narrowly focused on China's automobile industry. However, her analysis is grounded in a much broader macro understanding of the interaction between economic and political institutions and the evolving national culture of China. [Her] exploration of the tensions created by rapid development and growth of China's auto industry - particularly the organization, control, and compensation of labor - has implications for the rest of the Chinese economy and global capitalism more generally ... Summing up: highly recommended. All readers.' Satya J. Gabriel, Choice
'... this book is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in labour issues - not only in China and not only in the automobile sector.' Ivan Franceschini, The China Quarterly
'The auto industry has long been a focus of labor scholars, and Zhang's comprehensive study is a significant contribution to this literature. Although quite a lot of research on worker resistance in China is available, few existing studies manage such depth in analyzing the history and conditions of the industry ... [It] is a very good book based on great empirical work. It is one of the best books on Chinese labor in recent years and should attract interest from scholars and practitioners interested in the auto industry, labor relations, and Chinese politics.' Eli Friedman, ILR Review
'[Zhang's] book is full of evidence that workers, formal and temporary, see through the notion that all is fair under 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' - read, capitalism. They are experiencing the worst of both worlds - capitalist exploitation and the harshness of its lean production regime, combined with the repression of a government accustomed to one-party rule and determined to keep it that way. Lu Zhang urges us to look past the 'localized, cellular, and apolitical' nature of Chinese workers' outbursts and instead 'identify the potential for transformation from below'. The question is whether workers' bravery and initiative can outmaneuver the corporations and government who are betting everything on their ability to contain them. The potential is enormous, as China's rulers are well aware.' Jane Slaughter, Against the Current
'... [Zhang] gives us an invaluable view of the inner workings of auto plants under Chinese and joint American, Japanese, and German ownership ... This is notable on two counts. First, ethnographies are rarely this large in terms of [the number of] interviews ... and second, getting inside auto or other plants in China can be quite difficult ... For its depth and conclusions, this book has the hallmarks of being a classic.' Thomas Janoski, Perspectives on Work
'This book provides a much needed examination of labor relations in an industry that is historically central to the rise of labor movements. The carefully collected ethnographic data and nuanced analysis provide important insights into how China's entry into the global economy is reshaping labor relations and has led to an increasingly fragmented working class and rising labor strife.' Sarah Swider, American Journal of Sociology
'This powerful, beautifully structured, deeply and impressively researched study is a pleasure to read.' Dorothy J. Solinger, The Journal of Asian Studies
'... undoubtedly the best book in recent times on lean production and labour control in the Chinese automobile industry.' Annavajhula J. C. B., Economic and Political Weekly
'It is an advantage of the book that it does not purely focus on protests, as does a considerable part of studies on Chinese labour relations. The sector is well chosen as automobile workers have 'played an important role in broader labour movements and succeeded in transforming relations within the factory and society' ... in other countries throughout history ... The major theoretical innovation of the book can be seen in the departure from the concept of labour force dualism in China based on the fuzzy concept of 'migrant workers'; a notion which is widely employed by Chinese labour scholars but seldom clearly defined. Instead, Zhang argues that nowadays the root of this dualism is to be found in the distinction between formal and temporary workers.' Antonia Enssner and Jessica Pflueger , Work, Employment and Society
'This is a great book! Lu Zhang provides a comprehensive sociological analysis of work and workers' activism in China's auto industry during its years of ultra-rapid growth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The volume is unique since it offers a broad picture based on extensive field studies of major automobile manufacturing sites of different joint ventures of multinational carmakers and Chinese state-owned automakers.' Boy Luthje, The China Journal
"Lu Zhang's highly readable and insightful book offers a fascinating perspective on the recent wave of strikes in China's vast and growing automobile industry, drawing on extensive fieldwork in seven different auto factories. Highlighting the militancy of young, highly educated temporary auto assembly workers, who live in factory dormitories and often use social media as an organizing tool, Zhang shows how they leverage the ideological legacy of state socialism to challenge the logic of profit maximization in the world's most dynamic market economy. It is difficult to imagine a more intriguing case study of twenty-first-century labor unrest." Ruth Milkman, Graduate Center, City University of New York
"Essential reading for anyone interested in labor's fate, not just in China, but throughout a new world of work in which states and corporate managers have created a diabolical set of legal and occupational categories that have divided workers and subverted solidarity. The power of Zhang's scholarship arises both from her gritty fieldwork in a series of Chinese factories as well as her sophisticated understanding of contemporary capitalism." Nelson Lichtenstein, MacArthur Foundation Chair in History, University of California, Santa Barbara
"A worthy successor to the pioneering labor and social movement studies of Burawoy, Silver, Perry and Lee." Mark Selden, Senior Research Associate, East Asia Program, Cornell University
"A must-read ethnography ... Zhang contributes to the study of Chinese working-class formation with an excellent case." Pun Ngai, author of Made in China: Factory Women Workers in a Global Workplace (2005)
"At first glance, this work by Zhang ... appears to be narrowly focused on China's automobile industry. However, her analysis is grounded in a much broader macro understanding of the interaction between economic and political institutions and the evolving national culture of China. [Her] exploration of the tensions created by rapid development and growth of China's auto industry - particularly the organization, control, and compensation of labor - has implications for the rest of the Chinese economy and global capitalism more generally ... Summing up: highly recommended. All readers." Satya J. Gabriel, Choice
"... this book is a must-read for anyone who has an interest in labour issues - not only in China and not only in the automobile sector." Ivan Franceschini, The China Quarterly
"The auto industry has long been a focus of labor scholars, and Zhang's comprehensive study is a significant contribution to this literature. Although quite a lot of research on worker resistance in China is available, few existing studies manage such depth in analyzing the history and conditions of the industry ... [It] is a very good book based on great empirical work. It is one of the best books on Chinese labor in recent years and should attract interest from scholars and practitioners interested in the auto industry, labor relations, and Chinese politics." Eli Friedman, ILR Review
"[Zhang's] book is full of evidence that workers, formal and temporary, see through the notion that all is fair under 'socialism with Chinese characteristics' - read, capitalism. They are experiencing the worst of both worlds - capitalist exploitation and the harshness of its lean production regime, combined with the repression of a government accustomed to one-party rule and determined to keep it that way. Lu Zhang urges us to look past the 'localized, cellular, and apolitical' nature of Chinese workers' outbursts and instead 'identify the potential for transformation from below'. The question is whether workers' bravery and initiative can outmaneuver the corporations and government who are betting everything on their ability to contain them. The potential is enormous, as China's rulers are well aware." Jane Slaughter, Against the Current
"... [Zhang] gives us an invaluable view of the inner workings of auto plants under Chinese and joint American, Japanese, and German ownership ... This is notable on two counts. First, ethnographies are rarely this large in terms of [the number of] interviews ... and second, getting inside auto or other plants in China can be quite difficult ... For its depth and conclusions, this book has the hallmarks of being a classic." Thomas Janoski, Perspectives on Work
"This book provides a much needed examination of labor relations in an industry that is historically central to the rise of labor movements. The carefully collected ethnographic data and nuanced analysis provide important insights into how China's entry into the global economy is reshaping labor relations and has led to an increasingly fragmented working class and rising labor strife." Sarah Swider, American Journal of Sociology
"This powerful, beautifully structured, deeply and impressively researched study is a pleasure to read." Dorothy J. Solinger, The Journal of Asian Studies
"... undoubtedly the best book in recent times on lean production and labour control in the Chinese automobile industry." Annavajhula, J. C. B, Economic and Political Weekly
'It is an advantage of the book that it does not purely focus on protests, as does a considerable part of studies on Chinese labour relations. The sector is well chosen as automobile workers have `played an important role in broader labour movements and succeeded in transforming relations within the factory and society' ... in other countries throughout history ... The major theoretical innovation of the book can be seen in the departure from the concept of labour force dualism in China based on the fuzzy concept of `migrant workers'; a notion which is widely employed by Chinese labour scholars but seldom clearly defined. Instead, Zhang argues that nowadays the root of this dualism is to be found in the distinction between formal and temporary workers.' Antonia Enssner and Jessica Pflueger , Work, Employment and Society
'This is a great book! Lu Zhang provides a comprehensive sociological analysis of work and workers' activism in China's auto industry during its years of ultra-rapid growth at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The volume is unique since it offers a broad picture based on extensive field studies of major automobile manufacturing sites of different joint ventures of multinational carmakers and Chinese state-owned automakers.' Boy Luthje, The China Journal

You may also be interested in...

Dublin 1913
Added to basket
£8.99
Paperback
Blacklisted
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Plaid Cymru
Added to basket
£12.95
Paperback
Disposable People
Added to basket
£26.00
Paperback
Zombie Capitalism
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
Resolving Conflicts at Work
Added to basket

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.