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Disenfranchised: The Rise and Fall of Industrial Citizenship in China
- Open lecture
In the decades following World War II, factories in many countries not only provided secure employment and a range of economic entitlements, but also recognized workers as legitimate stakeholders, enabling them to claim rights to participate in decision making and hold factory leaders accountable. In recent decades, as employment has become more precarious, these attributes of industrial citizenship have been eroded and workers have increasingly been reduced to hired hands. No country has experienced these changes as dramatically as China. Drawing on a decade of field research, including interviews with both factory workers and managers, Andreas traces the changing political status of workers inside Chinese factories from 1949 to the present, carefully analyzing how much power they have actually had to shape their working conditions.
Joel Andreas, Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University, studies political contention and social change in China. His first book, Rise of the Red Engineers: The Cultural Revolution and the Origins of China’s New Class (Stanford 2009), analyzed the contentious merger of old and new elites following the 1949 Revolution. His second book, Disenfranchised: The Rise and Fall of Industrial Citizenship in China (Oxford 2019), traces radical changes that have fundamentally transformed industrial relations over the past seven decades. Currently, he is continuing to investigate changing labor relations and the ongoing transformation of China’s rural society.