Occupational health and social estrangement in China

By Wing-Chung Ho

Occupational health and social estrangement in China


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-1361-0
  • Pages: 232
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: December 2017
  • BIC Category: Sociology, Sociology & anthropology, Sociology, Social & ethical issues, Society & social sciences / General, China, Society & social sciences / Social issues & processes, Society & social sciences / Sociology & anthropology, Public health & preventive medicine, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, MEDICAL / Public Health, Public Health & Preventive Medicine
  • Series: New Ethnographies


This book concerns the post-illness experiences of about a hundred occupationally sick workers who suffer from the incurable diseases of pneumoconiosis or heavy metal poisoning in contemporary China. In exploring their struggles and conflicts in their private and social lives, at and away from home, the author hopes to show how the sufferers structure their own lives, their freedoms, rights, and constraints, and how they think and feel about their actions of acquiescence, compromise, resistance, and protest within the existing power relations. Informed by a framework that connects governmentality and the lifeworld of the victim, the books endeavors to shed new empirical and theoretical light on how the socially marginalized encounter and understand domination in everyday life in the specific context of China now and in the foreseeable future.


'A well-written and original research monograph, which is an enjoyable read. The empirical and theoretical contributions of this book are significant.'
Desai Shan, Dalhousie University, Canada, Work, Employment and Society, August 2019

'This is is a compelling and informative account of lived experiences of occupational illness among Chinese workers and their struggles for compensation.'
China Review


Series editor's foreword
Part I: Life in perspective
1. Facts, theoretical gaze, and journeys
2. Sick workers as homines sacri
Part II: Responses to marginality
3. Cadmium-poisoned women: contesting for sick role status
4. Pneumoconiosis-afflicted workers: toward rightful resistance
5. Coalminers: the compromising citizenry
Part III: Sick life governed
6. Law as a technique of governmentality
7. The future of Chinese marginality


Wing-Chung Ho is Associate Professor at Department of Applied Social Sciences, City University of Hong Kong

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