Thursday, October 16, 2008

Factory girls



Leslie T. Chang was WSJ's correspondent in southern China for many years. She's written a book called Factory Girls about the role of migrant workers in the manufacturing boom. Here is a 30 minute interview in which she discusses the book.

Stories of industrialization and urbanization have always been Dickensian, whether set in Manchester or Manchuria. Conditions are tough in factories in the developing world, but conditions are even tougher on the farm -- if you doubt me, just ask any migrant. That is why hundreds of millions of Chinese (not to mention Europeans and Japanese and North Americans in earlier times) have opted for city life.

Related posts on the great migration from the countryside to cities here, here and here.

1 comment:

Mr. Klubnika said...

Conditions are tough in factories in the developing world, but conditions are even tougher on the farm -- if you doubt me, just ask any migrant. That is why hundreds of millions of Chinese (not to mention Europeans and Japanese and North Americans in earlier times) have opted for city life.

Why is life so tough on the farms? Perhaps life gets tougher on the farms because of policies that screw farmers and others that live in rural areas.

Regardless, one would hope that treating people like sh-t in the cities isn't thought to be justified by knowing they had sh-tty lives or were were also treated like sh-t in the countryside.

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