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Analyzing Industrial Worker Precarity in Guangdong, China

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Title: Analyzing Industrial Worker Precarity in Guangdong, China
Author: Sommer, Brandon
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Sociology
Advisor: Srinivasan, Sharada
Abstract: This thesis explores three aspects of precarity for Chinese industrial workers in Guangdong. 1) How the haphazard and uneven evolution of the legal system in China from 1978 until today continues to create precarious situations for workers while also providing important security. 2) How labour shortages in Guangdong are impacting labour power and subsequent precarity for industrial workers by examining the Lewis Turning Point, an economic theory of surplus labour and its implications. 3) How generational differences are impacting industrial worker strategies of reducing precariousness in Guangdong. I analyze these three aspects by examining my fieldwork amongst industrial workers in Dongguan prefecture and Shunde district in Guangdong in the summer of 2014. This thesis explains that industrial workers in Guangdong are finding new ways to reduce precariousness in an unstable socio-political–economic climate by adopting strategies vis-à-vis the State, their employers and social institutions.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/9163
Date: 2015-08
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada


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