Self-development of migrant women and the production of suzhi (quality) as surplus value

Yan Hairong

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


How could Xiaohong-a migrant from Anhui who had worked as a domestic in Beijing for several years-have had the realization expressed in the first epigraph? How could she have experienced such a desire to enact in herself a change that would dislodge her from a practice that has, in recent ethnographic writing, been celebrated as "everyday resistance"? These questions lead me to explore the larger discursive context that enabled her to disavow her previous practice as a sign of her and her fellow domestics' deficiency in suzhi (quality).1 In the time-space of flexible accumulation that conjoins state and capital in post-Mao China at the turn of the twenty-first century, a subaltern subjectivity such as hers is a specific sociohistorical formation.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEveryday Modernity in China
PublisherUniversity of Washington Press
Number of pages33
ISBN (Print)9780295986029
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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