9780385520188

Factory Girls

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780385520188

  • ISBN10:

    0385520182

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 8/4/2009
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping On Orders Over $59!
    Your order must be $59 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
  • We Buy This Book Back!
    In-Store Credit: $2.10
    Check/Direct Deposit: $2.00
List Price: $17.00 Save up to $8.49
  • Rent Book $11.05
    Add to Cart Free Shipping

    TERM
    PRICE
    DUE

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.
  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

China has 130 million migrant workers, nearly all of them under thirty. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women whom she follows over the course of three years as they attempt to rise from the assembly lines in the industrial city of Dongguan. Chang takes us inside a sneaker factory so large that it has its own hospital, to makeshift English classes where students have their heads in monklike devotion, and back to a farming village, revealing the poverty and idleness that drive girls to leave home in the first place. A book of global significance, Factory Girls demonstrates how the mass movement from rural villages to cities is transforming Chinese society. Book jacket.

Author Biography

Leslie T. Chang lived in China for a decade as a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. She is married to Peter Hessler, who also writes about China. She lives in Colorado.

Table of Contents

The City
Going Outp. 3
The Cityp. 17
To Die Poor Is a Sinp. 44
The Talent Marketp. 72
Factory Girlsp. 98
The Stele with No Namep. 120
Square and Roundp. 171
Eight-Minute Datep. 206
Assembly-Line Englishp. 246
The Village
The Villagep. 269
The Historian in My Familyp. 303
The South China Mallp. 334
Love and Moneyp. 360
The Tomb of the Emperorp. 377
Perfect Healthp. 388
Sourcesp. 409
Acknowledgmentsp. 417
A Reader's Guidep. 421
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

Excerpts

1 Going Out

When you met a girl from another factory, you quickly took her measure. What year are you? you asked each other, as if speaking not of human beings but of the makes of cars. How much a month? Including room and board? How much for overtime? Then you might ask what province she was from. You never asked her name.

To have a true friend inside the factory was not easy. Girls slept twelve to a room, and in the tight confines of the dorm it was better to keep your secrets. Some girls joined the factory with borrowed ID cards and never told anyone their real names. Some spoke only to those from their home provinces, but that had risks: Gossip traveled quickly from factory to village, and when you went home every auntie and granny would know how much you made and how much you saved and whether you went out with boys.

When you did make a friend, you did everything for her. If a friend quit her job and had nowhere to stay, you shared your bunk despite the risk of a ten-yuan fine, about $1.25, if you got caught. If she worked far away, you would get up early on a rare day off and ride hours on the bus, and at the other end your friend would take leave from work--this time, the fine one hundred yuan--to spend the day with you. You might stay at a factory you didn't like, or quit one you did, because a friend asked you to. Friends wrote letters every week, although the girls who had been out longer considered that childish. They sent messages by mobile phone instead.

Friends fell out often because life was changing so fast. The easiest thing in the world was to lose touch with someone.

The best day of the month was payday. But in a way it was the worst day, too. After you had worked hard for so long, it was infuriating to see how much money had been docked for silly things: being a few minutes late one morning, or taking a half day off for feeling sick, or having to pay extra when the winter uniforms switched to summer ones. On payday, everyone crowded the post office to wire money to their families. Girls who had just come out from home were crazy about sending money back, but the ones who had been out longer laughed at them. Some girls set up savings accounts for themselves, especially if they already had boyfriends. Everyone knew which girls were the best savers and how many thousands they had saved. Everyone knew the worst savers, too, with their lip gloss and silver mobile phones and heart-shaped lockets and their many pairs of high-heeled shoes.

The girls talked constantly of leaving. Workers were required to stay six months, and even then permission to quit was not always granted. The factory held the first two months of every worker's pay; leaving without approval meant losing that money and starting all over somewhere else. That was a fact of factory life you couldn't know from the outside: Getting into a factory was easy. The hard part was getting out.

The only way to find a better job was to quit the one you had. Interviews took time away from work, and a new hire was expected to start right away. Leaving a job was also the best guarantee of getting a new one: The pressing need for a place to eat and sleep was incentive to find work fast. Girls often quit a factory in groups, finding courage in numbers and pledging to join a new factory together, although that usually turned out to be impossible. The easiest thing in the world was to lose touch with someone.

* * *

For a long time Lu Qingmin was alone. Her older sister worked at a factory in Shenzhen, a booming industrial city an hour away by bus. Her friends from home were scattered at factories up and down China's coast, but Min, as her friends called her, was not in touch with them. It was a matter of pride: Because she didn't like the place she was working, she didn't tell anyone where she was. She simply dropped out of sight.

Her factory's name was Carrin Electronics. The Hong Kong-owned compa

Excerpted from Factory Girls: Voices from the Heart of Modern China by Leslie T. Chang
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Rewards Program

Write a Review