Ambivalent Attitudes Towards State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) in China: A Case Study in the Southwest of China


This paper is part of my research on workers in Chinese State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) in the late reform era. The research question is about the changes of SOE workers by comparing the pre-reform era and after reform era in China. The researcher holds the hypothesis that SOE workers who were in power before the economic reform are now in a more disadvantaged and less privileged position. By taking Pierre Bourdieu's capital theory, this qualitative study shows that SOE workers lost their economic and social capital, while due to the state sector system, they still are granted political capital. This research takes the individual as the analytical unit to undertake interviews and dissect people’s life stories. In this paper, it focuses on presenting SOE workers' conflict attitudes towards the enterprise. The contradictions include people’s vague understanding between the state sector and the enterprise, the expectation of well-welfare jobs and the low salary in fact, the lost of sense of honor and the sense of belonging due to the living environment and the family influence, etc. The main method which use to enter this fieldwork site SOE was stated in this paper as well. This paper is an essential part to illustrate SOE employees as a segment group of the Chinese working class who change their attitudes toward the enterprise due to the lost of economic capital and social capital.

Author Information
Shan Huang, King's College London, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2019
Stream: Chinese Studies

This paper is part of the ACAS2019 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon