Over the past seven decades—since the 1949 Revolution—every aspect of Chinese society has been profoundly transformed multiple times. No sector has experienced more tumultuous twists and turns than industry. The eight articles contained in this volume examine these twists and turns, focusing on those aspects of industrial relations that involve contention and power, that is, factory politics. They were selected among articles that have appeared in the Chinese journal
Open Times (开放时代) over the past decade. Because
Open Times has a well-earned reputation for publishing diverse viewpoints, it has been able to attract some of the very best scholarship in China.
Asian Migrant Workers in the Arab Gulf States (edited by Masako Ishii, Naomi Hosoda, Masaki Matsuo and Koji Horinuki) examines how nationals and migrants construct new relationships in the segregated socioeconomic spaces of the region (namely, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates).
Instead of assuming that segregation is disadvantageous for migrant workers, it emphasizes multiple aspects and presents various voices. In this way, the book tries to unfold the region’s segregated socioeconomic space, as well as its new forms of networking and connectedness, in order to understand how the various peoples coexist: a situation that often entails conflict and discrepancies between expectations and reality.
Denver’s Chinatown 1875-1900: Gone But Not Forgotten explores the coming of the Chinese to the Western frontier and their experiences in Denver during its early development from a supply station for the mining camps to a flourishing urban center. The complexity of race, class, immigration, politics, and economic policies interacted dynamically and influenced the life of early Chinese settlers in Denver. The Denver Riot, as a consequence of political hostility and racial antagonism against the Chinese, transformed the life of Denver’s Chinese, eventually leading to the disappearance of Denver's Chinatown. But the memory of a neighborhood that was part of the colorful and booming urban center remains.
The commercialized economy of late imperial China depended on efficient transport, yet transport technologies, transport economics as well as its role in local societies and in interdependencies of environments and human activities are acutely under-researched. Nanny Kim analyses two transports systems into the Southwest of Qing China through the long eighteenth century and up to the mid-nineteenth century civil wars. The case studies explore shipping on the Upper Changjiang in Sichuan and through the Three Gorges into Hubei, and road transport out of the Sichuan Basin across northeastern Yunnan and northwestern Guizhou into central Yunnan. Specific and concrete investigations of a river that presented extreme dangers to navigation and carriage across the crunch zone of the Himalayan Plateau provides a basis for a systematic reconstruction of transport outside the lowland centres and their convenient networks of water transport.
Sentiments, Language, and the Arts: The Japanese-Brazilian Heritage explores the complex feelings of Japanese immigrants in Brazil, focusing on their yearning for “home” as a way of interpreting the shifting nature of their identity. To understand the immigrants’ lives and feelings from their own perspective, Hosokawa looks closely at their poetry, linguistic activities such as the borrowing of Portuguese words, amateur speech contests, and a fantasy about the shared origins of Japanese and the Brazilian indigenous language Tupi. He also examines the issue of group identity through the performing arts, analyzing the reception of Japanese sopranos who sang the title role in Madam Butterfly, participation in Carnival parades, and the oral storytelling of their history in popular narratives called
rôkyoku. Translated from Japanese by Paul Warham.
Kao Gong Ji: The World’s Oldest Encyclopaedia of Technologies, Guan Zengjian and Konrad Herrmann offer an English translation and commentary of the first technological encyclopaedia in China. This work came into being around the 5th century C.E. and contains descriptions of thirty technologies used at the time. Most prominent are bronze casting, the manufacture of carriages and weapons, a metrological standard, the making of musical instruments, and the planning of cities. The technologies, including the manufacturing process and quality assurance, are based on standardization and modularization. In several commentaries, the editors show to which degree the descriptions of
Kao Gong Ji correspond to archaeological findings.
For Mongols, sharing food is more than just eating meals. Through a process of “opening” and “closing”, on a daily basis or at events, in the family circle or with visitors, sharing food guarantees the proper order of social relations. It also ensures the course of the seasons and the cycle of human life. Through food sharing, humans thus invite happiness to their families and herds. Sandrine Ruhlmann has lived long months, since 2000, in the Mongolian steppe and in the city. She describes and analyzes in detail the contemporary food system and recognizes intertwined ideas and values inherited from shamanism, Buddhism and communist ideology. Through meat-on-the-bone, creamy milk skin, dumplings or sole-shaped cakes, she highlights a whole way of thinking and living.
This collection includes seven essays translated from the leading Chinese-language journal
Open Times. Bringing together a wide range of leading experts across several disciplines, this book offers critical insights on some of the most important questions of contemporary urban Chinese politics and society. Drawing on extensive research across different localities and issues in China, the chapters offer rich data and fresh analyses of the shifting contours of urban governance, social mobilization and contention, and mechanisms of social control in the new Millennium. Taken together, this collection represents the most comprehensive look in some years at how urban Chinese political institutions have adapted and responded to challenges and how social actors and groups have mobilized to press for redress of substantial new grievances.