It isn’t every day that a university professor goes to a factory in China and enrolls as one of the workforce in order to study the conditions there and the experiences of its workers. But this is what Pun Ngai has done in this remarkable book.
Made in China is in one way a bombshell, but it is also two very different books. On the one hand it’s a vivid and persuasive first-hand account of life in China’s factories in the late 20th century — places where a huge range of the commodities you see in shops from Taipei to Cincinnati are made… But on the other it’s also an academic work replete with expressions such as “the power, discourses, and processes of sexualizing bodies in the workplace” and “individuals torn by the tensions between capitalist forces, state socialist power and the local patriarchal culture.”
The WBUR show The Connection interviewed Pun Ngai. Listen to the show here.