2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A quick read not to be missed,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China (Taschenbuch)
I'm a PhD candidate in modern Chinese history and I read this book soon after writing an exam statement about urban/rural differences under socialism (focusing on the Maoist period). This is not a historical book by any means, but it is by far one of the most interesting and perceptive books about post-socialist China in the late 1990s-early 2000s. Aside from the entertaining stories and fluid narrative style that make it a quick few hours or days of reading (A++! I did not want to put this book down), it also provides an entry point into the post-economic reform period that few historians, anthropologists, and other scholars have been able to enter or cover thus far. For example, many scholars still lump 1980s-present as economic reforms and post-economic reforms, with lots of book coming out that generalize rural migrant experiences from rural to urban areas. What Chang shows, in fact, is that migrant experiences are always in motion, changing, diversifying, just as quickly as the cities themselves: rural migrants in the early 1990s may have been mostly young women who moved to the cities/factory towns to make money and go back home, but Chang finds that a decade (or less?) later, many women have no intention of every returning to their natal village permanently! Largely a result of urban lifestyle changes (mostly personal consumption habits), this book also offers a closer look into the ways in which the fast-paced living have affected personal relationships among people - friendships, business relationships, and the search for a life partner.
If I were going to compare this to other books (such as the fabulous ones written by Chang's partner, Peter Hessler), she has at least one big advantage. As a Chinese-American woman she "blends in" while doing her fieldwork (a.k.a. hanging out with the factory girls and at least superficially "looking" quite ordinary to most of the people she encounters). As such she not only gets access to people's personal lives but she gets into facilities and places a non-Chinese-looking person would rarely be allowed to see. On top of that, she gets invited back to rural villages by some of the factory girls, where she meets locals and their families, ETC. In fact, only when she swears in English to a bus driver does she blow her cover!
I plan to assign this book to future classes of students because I think the stories are interesting and highlight some valid points and problems in post-socialist, fast-changing society that could open up discussion, but also because the narrative style will be welcomed by students as it is free of jargon and challenging vocabulary, allowing a light read that will not put them to sleep.