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ERIC Number: EJ899694
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 32
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 54
ISSN: ISSN-0743-5584
Poor but Not Powerless: Women Workers in Production Chain Factories in China
Ma, Lang; Jacobs, Francine
Journal of Adolescent Research, v25 n6 p807-838 Nov 2010
The present study demonstrates the processes by which 12 young women working in four production chain factories in China shape their own lives--their developmental trajectories--during the period following their entry into factory work. One-on-one, in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted in August, 2005, as part of an evaluation project that assessed the labor practices and interpersonal relationships in production chain factories. These interviews revealed considerable personal agency among the women, and prompted us to examine how this agency manifests itself, and what individual and contextual factors influence it. Operating from a developmental systems perspective, and using a "grounded approach" to identify active, personal agency as the organizing construct for this investigation, we adopted the selective optimization with compensation (SOC) model to guide data analysis and presentation, after initial data coding indicated its suitability. Findings suggest that activity within these three components (selection, optimization, and compensation) is oriented toward fulfilling both the women's family goals and their career goals. These workers sought to improve the well-being of their families and themselves through selecting to work in these particular production chain factories, optimizing their factory experiences, and compensating for the attendant losses--personal and career-related. Individual characteristics, such as marital status, migrant status, and educational background, in combination with contextual factors, such as family socio-economic background and factory labor practices, influenced these women worker's decisions, and thus, their developmental course. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China