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Relation-Based Hegemony: A Research of Labor Process of Construction Industry

Author: ZhouZuo
Tutor: ShenYuan
School: Tsinghua University
Course: Sociology
Keywords: Construction Migrant Workers Relation Network Relation-Based Hegemony Labor Process
CLC: F426.92
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2007
Downloads: 499
Quote: 1
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This paper is a research on the workplace and labor process of the migrant workers in construction industry of China. On the basis of data from questionnaire investigation involving 5000 samples all over the country and deep interview and observation of the workplace for one year and a half, I try to show the character of power relation formed in construction industry labor process.We find that, on construction job site, there are prevalent“relation networks”between workers and managers and among different workers, which shape a special form of control and resistance: relation-based hegemony.Through three mechanisms: manufacturing loyalty, weighing the degree of appropriateness and using mild control strategies, relation-based hegemony makes effects in two ways: producing consent and restraining dissatisfaction. That is, on one hand, the existence and reproduction of relation networks between workers and bosses produces trust, understanding, loyalty and identification to each other. On the other hand, relation networks restrain workers from expressing their dissatisfaction in violent forms but by endurance or mild forms of resistance. So, relation networks come to be a useful control instrument, which guarantees the order of production and even encourages workers to take part in the activity of exploiting themselves.However, relation networks also strengthen workers’ability of resistance. It set limits on managers’power and protect workers from rigid control. Further, relation networks among workers provide resource of organization to resist management.At the end of the paper, I refer that, when it comes to the problem of wages, the relation-based hegemony between workers and managers may be broken and the relation-based identification be replaced by class conflict while class identification may be formed among workers who are in conflict because they belong to different relation networks.

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CLC: > Economic > Industrial economy > China Industrial Economy > Industrial sector economy
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