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

Abstract

In The Politics of Production, Michael Burawoy emphasized how different production regimes shape the political and ideological aspects of workers’ resistance. However, the present study’s analysis of collective struggles by the new generation of Chinese migrant workers shows that, aside from the regulatory role of production regimes themselves, the unique life experiences and social traits of China’s new workers influence how different production regimes are experienced. Moreover, through the combination of different production regimes, workers’ experiences and traits also engender unique forms of life, bonds of solidarity, and methods of mobilization. This article emphasizes the political significance of life. The social relations and experiences forged through production and life give rise to three patterns of struggle among China’s new workers: (a) offensive struggles to advance their interests based on relationships among coworkers and classmates, (b) atomized struggles to both defend and advance their interests, and (c) riots. Each pattern of struggle demarcates a unique challenge in China, “the world’s workshop.”

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

Abstract

The characteristics of the staff and workers congress (SWC) system at Factory A have differed significantly across different historical periods. This article examines those changes in terms of the organization and structure of the congress, the composition of representatives and how they exercise their powers, the topics addressed by the congress, and also workers’ evaluations of its work. It then attempts to explain these changes with a New Institutionalism approach, proposing that tensions between the logic of legitimacy and the logic of efficiency have brought about changes in how the SWC system has been implemented.

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

Abstract

Based on case studies of four industrial state-owned enterprises (SOEs), this paper proposes a simple control model of industrial relations in post-reform SOEs. Under this model, the focus of SOE targets has shifted toward efficiency, while labor relations within SOEs have become hierarchical, with managers enjoying political and economic protection from the state and wielding absolute control. Technicians enjoy certain market advantages but compete as isolated individuals. Skilled workers enjoy the traditional protections of the SOE, but are aging and will not be replaced. The use of large quantities of informal labor has taken the hierarchical application of labor to an extreme. The simple control model and informal labor markets are reliant on each other, undercut the role of the union, and divide permanent and temporary workers across different labor markets.

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

Abstract

This paper is based on field research on spatial interactions between Uyghur and Han workers at the Kashgar Cotton Mill [in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region]. According to the research, the form taken by working and living spaces has had a role in shaping systemic change and transitional practices. The mill has shifted from being state owned to being privately owned and managed and the formation and disruption of the cultural space in which Uyghur and Han workers interact in work and life are inextricably linked to this transition. In particular, the unbalanced recruitment of Uyghur and Han workers has disrupted an important mentoring relationship between members of the two ethnic groups. In short, an ethnic spatial perspective allows us to better understand the economic and social changes in the transitional period, especially with regard to ethnic and labor relations.

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

This article discusses changes in the materiality of textbooks by examining several examples of primarily Slovene textbooks from various periods. By focusing on their spread design rather than technical aspects (e.g., length, weight, and format), one may infer that their materiality changed with the development of printing technologies and publishing skills. Based on the assumption that textbook visuality is a field of meaning that requires different bodily movements, postures, and engagement with the physical environment to produce cognitive processing, this article sheds light on how the body adapts to the changed materiality of digital textbooks. Numerous micro-movements in a long string of procedures are required in a digital textbook ecosystem. All the participants should be aware of the different demands and properties of the digital textbook ecosystem. Therefore, further empirical research is needed.

In: Logos

Originally, literary prizes were restricted to the world of academia, but since the 19th century they have grown to become commercial events in the publishing calendar. This article looks at the role of the literary prize as an agent of change by focusing on two prominent prizes in the United Kingdom: the Booker and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. By analysing data from archive material held at Oxford Brookes University, this article argues that the founding of the Women’s Prize highlighted an issue with the Booker and promoted discussion around that issue, and that the Booker reacted positively in the years after the introduction of a competing literary prize.

In: Logos

In this paper, I review the Thanks for Typing conference held at Oxford University in March 2019, which explored the experiences of women who worked as literary helpmeets for famous men. I also give some details from the papers presented there. In my paper ‘“Jumped-up Typists”: Two secretaries who became guardians of the flame’, I discussed how two literary wives, Sophia Mumford (1899–1997), wife of the American historian and philosopher Lewis Mumford, and Valerie Eliot (1926–2012), second wife of T. S. Eliot, found their identities in supporting, and later defending, their husbands’ work. I also looked at the consequences of their devotion as they grew older. It was clear from the papers presented at Thanks for Typing that the contributions of the women who surround powerful or influential men—not only as typists but as assistants, muses, and even managers of their husbands’ affairs—are often hidden and suppressed. The full acknowledgment of those who contribute to creative and intellectual work is a subject that needs further attention from both men and women.

In: Logos