Intern labor in China

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Internships have become integral to the development of vocational education in China. This article looks into the quasi-employment arrangements of student interns, who occupy an ambiguous space between being a student and being a worker at the point of production. Some employers recruit interns on their own, while others secure a supply of student labor through coordinated support of provincial and lower-level governments that prioritize investments, as well as through subcontracting services of private labor agencies. The incorporation of teachers into corporate management can strengthen control over students during their internships. While interns are required to do the same work as other employees, their unpaid or underpaid working experiences testify that intern labor is devalued. Exposes of abuses, such as using child labor in the guise of interns, have pressured the Chinese state and companies to eventually take remedial action. Reclaiming student workers' educational and labor rights in the growing intern economy, however, remains contested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-100
Number of pages19
JournalRural China
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • China
  • Intern labor
  • Internships
  • Labor agencies
  • Student workers
  • The state
  • Vocational schools

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Anthropology

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