Mikey B.’s review of Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Ah, so you have now read Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China too!

I related completely to what you said in your review. I thought this was most pertinent

I titled this review “Debrouillez-vous” which is a French expression meaning – get on with it, make due, you are on your own. This, I believe, describes the plight of these young girls when they arrive in Dongguan – a huge land of factories – where they must organize themselves, get a job, change jobs – all on their own – and become self-reliant. They are no longer in a communal village.

One can hardly believe the culture shock these girls must experience between the intimate smallness of village life (in all respects), and the giant impersonality of these vast factory towns...

message 2: by Mikey B. (new)

Mikey B. I really enjoyed this book - and its THANKS to your review!
The author by looking at just a few of the young people gives us a good in depth view of how their lives have been jolted by factory land. I also liked the fact that she did not paint both factory/small village existence in negative/positive tones but gave us a portrait that was much more nuanced and with a lot of feeling.

In their village everything was regimented - as in factory land, in some ways, they had more self-freedom.

message 3: by Caroline (last edited Feb 12, 2013 10:06AM) (new)

Caroline Certainly in the factory towns they seemed very ambitious - not at all just treading along in the same job day after day. I was surprised at how innovative many of the girls seemed even in those incredibly monotonous/inhuman surroundings.

Also all the girls seemed to have families in rural villages that they could go back to. I wonder how long that will last? As China continues to modernise and more people work in towns and in the factories, I wonder how long that sort of one-family subsistence farming will last.

message 4: by Caroline (new)

Caroline My friend who lived in China for 12 years just sent me a link to an interesting article on blue collar versus white collar jobs in China, and the aspirations of today's graduates.


message 5: by Mikey B. (new)

Mikey B. Hmmm I can't seem to connect to that page - and it is the New York times which I use frequently
There are those dots at the end?? bus...

message 6: by Caroline (last edited Feb 14, 2013 09:32AM) (new)

Caroline I'll try again...


It's really weird, the links *look* the same, but I think this one is working.

message 7: by Mikey B. (new)

Mikey B. It worked!! THANKS

What an interesting article that ties in well with the book. Surprising (or maybe not) to read that computer graduates cannot find jobs. Also interesting (and that was mentioned in the book) how the factories also provide extracurricular activities for their employees - like cafes, sleeping accommodations, internet access...

message 8: by Caroline (new)

Caroline Also I suspect that provisions for factory workers have got better in recent years (as was suggested by the move from dormitories to 2-person flats), as it has become less easy to recruit blue-collar staff....

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