The Fate of the Working Class

  • Jake Lin
Part of the Politics and Development of Contemporary China book series (PDCC)


This chapter examines the second factor underlying the labor movement’s psychic trap—workers’ perception of the working class identity and political power. It discusses how workers perceive the working class’s identity as somewhat obsolete and even a dirty word, especially the younger generation. Many workers instead adopt diverse modern and urbanized identities. Most workers also tend to fail to see their political capacities to make changes, together with a pessimistic sense of fatalism when it comes to their prospect of the labor movement. It also highlights the cognitive gap of perception on those issues between workers and activists. This chapter demonstrates workers’ weak collective identity and skepticism of their political efficacy through a case study in a kitchenware factory in Jiangmen Guangdong.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jake Lin
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Global StudiesTokyo University of Foreign StudiesTokyoJapan

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