Jenny Chan invited to talk about Chinese labor and virtual work in Estonia

Conference Program, 16-18 September 2015, Dynamics of Virtual Work, Parnu College,

University of Tartu, Estonia

At the key nodes of production, the integration of large manufacturers in transnational supply chains and tight delivery schedules for consumer products potentially enhance workers’ bargaining power at the workplace level. With workers’ growing awareness of the opportunities presented by the fact that giant corporations face pressures to meet quotas for new models and holiday season purchases, they have repeatedly come together at the dormitory, workshop, or factory level to voice demands or to stage protests. Access to internet and social networking technology also enables workers to disseminate open letters and to tweet urgent appeals for support. In the twenty-first century, China’s centrality in electronics manufacturing and exports opens possibilities that workers can build on their grassroots organizing experience to expand labor rights, while the iron triangle of Foxconn, the company union, and the Chinese state sustains the unequal power structures.

See also, Jenny Chan’s recent journal article on student labor in China.

Jenny CHAN (PhD in Sociology, 2014) is a Lecturer in Contemporary China Studies at the University of Oxford and a Junior Research Fellow (2015-2018) of Kellogg College. Educated at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (B.Soc.Sc) and the University of Hong Kong (MPhil.), she was a Reid Research Scholar while pursuing her doctorate at the University of London. In 2013-2014 she received a Great Britain-China Educational Award. She is a Board Member of the International Sociological Association’s Research Committee on Labor Movements (2014-2018). Her recent articles have appeared in Current Sociology, Modern China, Human Relations, Asian Studies (Official Journal of Hong Kong Asian Studies Association), Critical Asian Studies, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, Global Labour Journal, The Asia-Pacific Journal, The South Atlantic Quarterly, New Labor Forum, and New Technology, Work and Employment.