Embracing Communication: Labor and Contradictions in China's Current Developmental Strategy
The Routledge Companion to Labor and Media edited by Richard Maxwell, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 25 Mar 2014
Date Written: March 25, 2014
We will trace the evolution of China’s export-processing regime exemplified by information and communication technology (ICT) manufacturing. We then turn to telecom and media operation, assessing their strategic importance in the endeavor of creating a commanding heights economy. Unlike the foreign capital-driven engine of export production, these two are state-dominated sectors in China’s economic geography. Although showered with hefty praise and high expectation, they are equally crisis-ridden. We argue that in the ongoing communication-driven mode of economic restructuring, labor is one of the weakest links, exposing its contradictory character and threatening to stall it. The state’s further embrace of communication in its developmental scheme is bound to enhance the influence of communication labor in the balance of power.
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