Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China
China has more than 114 million migrant workers, which represents the largest migration in human history. But while these workers, who leave their rural towns to find jobs in China’s cities, are the driving force behind China’s growing economy, little is known about their day-to-day lives or the sociological significance of this massive movement.
In Factory Girls, Leslie T.
The material itself is fascinating and up-to-the minute-timely; the book details how a huge migration is taking place in China, t ...more
Factory Girls focuses on the lives of young women living in Dongguan, a huge city in southern China filled with factories and inhabited mainly by migrant workers. The author spent several years getting to know workers there, and most of the book tells their sto ...more
The protagnists are those migrant female workers, the young girls who fleed their imporverished rural villages in quest of a better city life.
The book primarily covered a period from late 90s and early 00s. At a time particularly in 90s, if they strive for something new they need to c ...more
The way it jumped from one thing to another with no transition beyond some extra space on the page was quite disorienting. (E.g., one section ended with a statement about an old relative laying in bed waiting to die and the next paragraph started with a description of a table loaded with food.)
The descriptions and conclusions also seemed very superficial. I chose the book because I was very interested in learning about life in China ...more
The pacing for this book was entirely wrong. The setup and presentation of information was wrong. It seemed so helter skelter. The stories felt l ...more
This is a splendid, splendid book. It's not only better than I expected, it might even ...more
Next the author gives an account of her grandfather's quest for education that in ...more
Plus, she interjects a heavy dose of her personal family history, ostensibly t ...more
The story turns out to be a bit different than the preconceived notion also.
For the positive, the writer had a background at the wall st journal,
probably the least biased newspaper in America and this gave her the mindset and habit to write an interesting and unbiased account of this unusual mass migration from rice patty to factory.
She also integrated her life with her subjects to an unusual deg ...more
“God, you’re worthy,” she replied scathingly.
But the thing is – despite its worthy subject matter and uncomfortably small print – Factory Girls is actually a highly enjoyable read. Providing a flipside to all those “terrible working conditions, suicides, general calamity” articles about manufacturing in China, Leslie T Chang seeks to find out more about the average Chinese factory worker on a ...more
Getting into a factory is easy, what is harder is getting out. Employers often withhold up to 2 months of pay, and if an employee wants to quit, they face losing that pay if the employer does not want t ...more
If you have ever wondered about the people who make most of the objects we use on a daily basis – like running shoes, home appliances, kitchen utensils... read this book. We are given an insightful view of their lives and surroundings.
Most of them are young women who come from rural areas. They essentially abandon the rural lifestyle to embark on an urban factory journey. Most will change jobs several times. They will meet a myriad of friends who just come and go. Their li ...more
The author discusses migration of young women from the countryside to the city where they seek jobs in the factories in Dongguan. She tells stories about several ...more
Seventy thousand people now work at the Yue Yuen factory in Dongguan. "Inside the compound's brick walls, workers sleep in factory dorms and eat in factory cafeterias and shop at factory commissaries. Yue Yuen runs a kindergarten for employees' children ...more
Now I thought the factory girl stories were really interesting. First of all, I had always pictured Chinese factory workers as ...more
I did NOT want this to end. This book is beautiful, and it is written through the eyes of someone who stands on the border of being American, and c ...more
These girls leave home as young as 14 and are hired at talent markets so they don't even see the conditions of the factory until the first day on the job. They also live at the factory, sleeping in dorms. Working from 8am to midnight with two short (10 minute) breaks is not unheard of. Employers also withold pay so they cannot quit without ...more
The main focus of the book, these factory girls, or we should rather call them migrants (since at first I mistook the word "factory girls" for workers on assembly lines only), are fascinating. Instead of knowing them through the usual presentation of statistics, numbers and graphs, plus some ...more
I love non-fiction books that focus on people and place ...more
Chang, a Chinese-American former correspondent for the Wall Street Journal in Beijing, spent several years researching this report of modern-day China, and the young women migrant workers who leave their small rural villages to go to work in the big-city factories. She focuses her story on two women in particular – Min and Chunming – expounding on the events in their lives to illustrate the plight of the hordes of workers just like them.
Personalizing the sto ...more
I’m glad that someone finally wrote a book like this. People in Americ ...more
For "Factory Girls" has potential but is a mess.
Don't take me wrong, I do believe that it's better reading this book than ignoring its existence, but I suppose that whereas most readers can be satisfied with the menu offered by Leslie Chang, many of them could complain about the way this story is delivered.
Oh well, let's begin with the menu. There is an appetizer of tasty introduction followed by two main ...more
A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in American History and Literature, Chang has also worked as a journalist ...more