Chapter

Two Worlds of Labor in South China

Ching Kwan Lee

in Gender and the South China Miracle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211254
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920040 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520211254.003.0001
Two Worlds of Labor in South China

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Since the mid-1980s, China has become the world's new “global factory,” with the southern province of Guangdong (including Hong Kong) as its powerhouse. Millions of women workers are toiling in sweat shops and modern factories, churning out Mickey Mouse toys, Barbie dolls, Nike sports shoes, Apple jeans, watches, radios, televisions, and computers for worldwide consumption. These mass production commodities may be highly standardized, but the factory regimes that produce them, which spring up along the trail of mobile international capital, are not. The stories of two Chinese women, Yukling and Chi-ying, highlight both the differences and the similarities between the worlds of labor where the south China economic miracle is manufactured, and where labor politics and women's identities are made and remade.

Keywords: China; global factory; Guangdong; Hong Kong; mass production; Yukling; Chi-ying; labor; politics; women

Chapter.  4957 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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