The “Labor Question” of Chinese Capitalism in Africa

The "Labor Question" of Chinese Capitalism in Africa

Ching Kwan Lee - Professor of Sociology, UCLA

Monday, October 24, 2011 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Room 101, Linsly-Chittenden Hall See map
63 High Street
New Haven, CT 6511

The Council is pleased to present the 52nd Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture. This talk examines key elements of an emerging Chinese regime of production in Zambia, Africa’s leading copper producer and the site of the first of five Chinese-owned special economic zones to be built on the continent. Drawing on comparative field data on Chinese and non-Chinese firms in construction and copper mining, two pivotal industries for Chinese and African developments, Professor Lee will discuss the strategies of accumulation and legitimation by Chinese capital, and explore the constraints imposed on them by Zambian society and political economy. Ching Kwan Lee is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. She obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and University of Michigan before moving to UCLA. She is author of Against the Law: Labor Protests in China’s Rustbelt and Sunbelt (2007) and Gender and the South China Miracle: Two Worlds of Factory Women (1998). Her edited and co-edited books include From the Iron Rice Bowl to Informalization: Markets, Workers and the State in a Changing China (2011); Reclaiming Chinese Society: New Social Activism (2009), Re-envisioning the Chinese Revolution: Politics and Poetics of Collective Memory in Reform China (2007) and Working in China: Ethnographies of Labor and Workplace Transformation (2007). She is currently working on two research projects: one on the “grassroots state” and class politics in China and the other examines Chinese investment and labor practices in Zambia’s copper mining and construction industries.

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