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Our World is Under Our Control?!: Mobile Phone as a Dialectical Transformative Tool for Rural-Urban Female Migrant Workers in China

Mon, June 13, 14:00 to 15:15, Fukuoka Hilton, Koh

Abstract

Revisiting “the duality of structure” (Giddens, 1984), our study examines how marginalized female migrant workers are caught by the tension between agency display by drawing resources from their upward position in socioeconomic structure, and the rules of the power structure of patriarchy, and the dialectical role of mobile phone in either exacerbating or resolving the tension. Ethnographic research in a fruit can factory in Paotai Economic Development Zone, Wafangdian, China between July and August, 2015, with thirty five rural-urban female migrant workers as respondents, illustrates that mobile phone use can either facilitate these workers to display agency to transform patriarchy, or expose them further to patriarchal oppression and restriction, thus hindering their agency display.
Keywords: female migrant worker, Mobile phone, Dialectical, Gender, Patriarchy, Agency, China

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