Andrea's Reviews > Factory Girls

Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang
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Dec 01, 2009

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bookshelves: asia, china
Read in December, 2009

Chang's research with young women in factories in 2003-2005 shows that the function of factory work and the situation of rural workers in urban factories has changed significantly from the early studies of the 90s. The "girls" today are developing independence from their rural families. Many are using their earnings to affect family decisions, sometimes over-ruling their parents. At the same time, their traditional cultural beliefs are becoming irrelevant to their current lives, and many struggle to develop a comfortable social life in the new economy. Chang's narrative style is engaging. However, although I understand why she is interested in discussing her family history, the parts about her family were almost maudlin at times. She is a reporter and her discussion of the workers lives is fast paced and unsentimental. The parts about her family history meandered of into philosophical musings that were not either original or particularly interesting.
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