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In: Asian Journal of Social Science

Abstract

The article’s principal objective is to assess the state of theorising in Philippine sociology via the pages the Philippine Sociological Review (PSR). It reviews a portfolio of theoretical articles published by PSR over the span of seven decades (1955–2017). With PSR as the “interpretive canon,” the review uncovers suggestive actualities regarding the nature and extent of sociological theorising in the country. The theorising praxis of Filipino sociologists is characterised by a duality of “undercurrents” indicative of actual and potential actions that are habitual in nature (inclinations) yet porous enough to accommodate adjustments (possibilities) epitomised by episodic calls to theorise. Their nexus, albeit imbued with tension and ambivalence, is construed as predictive of promising futures (trajectories) for the discipline in the country. The article concludes that the climate of sociological theorising in the Philippines is essentially synchronous in the global trend along such area of concern.

In: Asian Journal of Social Science

Abstract

This article analyzes the “internal labor subcontracting” production model within a state-owned enterprise through the lens of labor process theory. Analyzing the emergence and development of internal labor subcontracting shows how the rise of transnational labor processes under economic globalization and market transition shaped the practical logic behind the reform of China’s state-owned enterprises and helped state-owned enterprises integrate themselves into a local practice of neoliberal globalization characterized by “flexible accumulation.” This paper argues that the change in production models was spurred by two logics: (1) the reorganization of production under transnational labor processes and (2) labor substitution under shop floor politics. If Western enterprises shifted from Fordism-Keynesianism to flexible accumulation by “spatial adjustment” strategies, then Chinese state-owned enterprises integrated themselves into a global production system dependent upon flexible accumulation by utilizing an informal labor market to directly transform internal production models.

In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China

Abstract

Since the 1990s, Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, has faced growing public criticism for using sweatshop labor in its supply chains. In 1992, when corporate social responsibility practices centering on adoption and implementation of codes of conduct regarding labor standards were gaining steam, Walmart also adopted its own codes of conduct, “Standards for Suppliers,” requiring its overseas suppliers to comply with certain minimum labor standards. Based on empirical studies at three of Walmart’s toy supplier factories located in Shenzhen, this paper examines the dynamics and effectiveness of Walmart codes on workplace labor standards.

In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China

Abstract

The 2012 direct union elections in Guangdong Province have received widespread attention from the public and are widely regarded as the direction of reform for China’s unions. Behind this reform lies not only bottom-up pressure of the workers’ movement, but also top-down demands for social development, as well as the outcomes of Guangdong’s industrial transformation policies. Although Guangdong’s model of direct union elections has been successful in some enterprises, especially with regard to collective bargaining and the work style of union officials, the further adoption of direct union elections has continued to encounter many obstacles, including the power of capital, the level of maturity of the workers themselves, the local government’s way of thinking, and the attitudes of higher level unions. These obstacles have impeded the further development and improvement of direct union elections.

In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China

Abstract

Soon after the founding of the People’s Republic, workers’ social status and standard of living saw dramatic increases. Ordinary people displayed passion and enthusiasm for their work. However, the state began to ignore the needs of workers as it slowly became committed to plans for modernization and sought to impose control of production through pressure from individual officials, political campaigns, and production targets. In order to protect their own interests, direct producers responded to this pressure in many different ways. In this historical process, labor enthusiasm was slowly replaced by passivity, negativity, cheating, and fraudulent practices. High modernist planners often believed their vision for society was more carefully considered and farsighted than the facts would justify, but their plans often ended up harming the intended beneficiaries and impeding development.

In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China
In: Factory Politics in the People's Republic of China