China's Digital Working Class
Open lecture with Professor Jack Linchuan Qiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Old and new working-class people in China are adopting and appropriating digital media, while the digital economy is creating entirely new jobs, communities, and socio-political dynamics. The digital working class marks a fourth stage in the modern history of Chinese class politics, when China has become the world's factory with immense labor power and increasing social inequality, when the content of Chinese working-class culture has become more diverse and impactful than ever as could be seen in the Fan Yusu phenomenon in spring 2017, all happening at a time when the results of China's internal processes become more consequential for the world at large. What are the characteristics of China's digital working class? How can we make sense of it, through what conceptual frameworks? This talk shall discuss the applicability of the "circuits of labor" model (Qiu, Gregg and Crawford, 2014), its premises, limits and implications for future research.
Jack Linchuan Qiu is a Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong, CUHK, School of Journalism and Communication, and Deputy Director, Centre for Chinese Media and Comparative Communication Research, CUHK School of Journalism and Communication. He has published extensively on ICT and working class cultures and serve as associate editor of Journal of Communication, and as Asian editor of Information, Communication & Society. Among his major publications are Working-Class Network Society: Communication Technology and the Information Have-Less in Urban China. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. His most recent book is entitled Goodbye iSlave A Manifesto for Digital Abolition, University of Illinois Press (2016).