Taihui Guo, T. (2014) ‘Rights in Action: The Impact of Chinese Migrant Workers’ Resistances on Citizenship Rights’

Rights in Action: The Impact of Chinese Migrant Workers’ Resistances on Citizenship Rights

Abstract

There have been some debates on Chinese migrant workers’ resistances and their rising rights consciousness in the academia. This paper aims to understand the debates and their problems. This paper investigates the extent to which the forms of Chinese migrant workers’ resistance have diverse impact on their citizenship rights. The conception of citizenship rights can be analytically understood in the individual/ collective form and with the passive/active nature; such a dichotomy is also applicable for that of resistance according to the action theory. Both conceptualizations and their linkages constitute an analytical framework in this paper. Within it, the various cases of migrant workers’ resistances and their connections with attainment of rights are discussed comparatively. A main finding in this paper is that the individual resistance, whether passive or active, is almost independent of rights; individuals with the PC model only wait passively for the government’s help; and the AC model (e.g. strike) is much more prospective for the attainment of collective rights, which creates a new power to balance those of state and capital in China.

Available to read or download in English at: http://gms.sysu.edu.cn/admin/UploadFiles/201411278467372.pdf [unreachable as of 10/12/15]