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This chapter addresses the first pillar that sustains workers’ psychic trap—how workers’ conservative interpretation of their problems becomes a cognitive hurdle for labor movement. It first gives a brief account of the cruel labor conditions at the shop floor and workers’ social suffering in daily life. It then discusses the background of the CCP’s hegemonic control of public discourse, which works as the discursive power to shape workers’ perception of their own situations. The main part of the chapter examines workers and activists’ interpretation of the state, market, and capital as the structural source of labor difficulties, as well as their own common perception of the problem. It compares ordinary workers’ interpretation with activists. It uses a Chongqing factory case to further illustrate how workers’ interpretation of their situations is conservative insofar as it becomes a psychic impediment to collective movement.
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- Fighting Against What?
- Chapter 4
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