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 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
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 material itself is fascinating and up-to-the minute-timely; the book details how a huge migration is taking place in China, t...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 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 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
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
Lots of interesting info in the book, probably more than I can recall here, but the main things I remember are
- China’s workforce today is (one of?) the largest migration in human history. Nearly al...more
It is a fascinating window on understanding the human connection to the computer I'm using to type, the shoes I use to exercise, the phone I use, the tv I watch, and anything else that I have that bears the distinction of being Made in China. I feel to honor the work and lives of these invisible and heretofore anonymous workers, because I have to accept that stuff I want to use every day comes through their hands and helps create the unique and challenging lives they have chosen to lead. I have...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
The rise of women migrant workers, however, is a tenuous one tempere...more
Now I thought the factory girl stories were really interesting. First of all, I had always pictured Chinese factory workers as...more
However, given that, this book gave me a real sense of what it’s like for young women in China today. Chang does a clear, thorough job of detailing the lives of wo...more
A graduate of Harvard University with a degree in American History and Literature, Chang has also worked as a journalist...more