© Columbia University Press
Paper, 256 pages, 300
Hong Kong University Press
$25.00 / £17.50
Most consumer products come primarily from the Pearl River Delta, the "factory of the world" with the largest industrial region on earth. The delta has attracted millions of poor rural residents to settle in factory towns in hopes for a better life. Factory Towns of South China opens a window on these walled compounds, exposing the gritty establishments, crowded dormitories and monotonous labor carried out by workers. Some function as self-contained cities, with their own fire brigade, hospital, bank, TV station and as many as half a million workers living within the compounds. Other factories are scattered in larger villages to mask their existence and evade governmental crackdowns on the production of fake consumer goods and illegal casino machines.
Contributors include David Bray, Minnie Chan, Jia-Ching Chen, Paul Chu Hoi Shan, Eli Friedman, Claudia Juhre, Laurence Liauw, Paul Lin, Ting Shi, Casey Wang, Rex Wong, and Chun Yang.