There are over 100 million migrant workers in China today. Many of these workers are young women who have left their rural homes to work in factories. The hours are long and the pay is low, so young women job hop often, hoping to find better conditions elsewhere.
To show how this mass movement is transforming China, Leslie T. Chang focuses on two girls, Min and Chunming, who work in Dongguan. Beyond the challenges of factory life, they also struggle to maintain friendships and romantic relationships. Living in such a transitory world, the loss of a mobile phone can mean the loss of an entire social network.
About a fourth of the book describe’s the author’s own Chinese American family history, but the modern segments held my interest more as I am always interested in the lives of women during periods of social change. This book fills in the gaps left by news stories on the industrialization of China by exploring the lives of the young women who keep factories going.