An Interpretative Framework of Grassroots Resistance in Chinese Urban Society -----A Case Study of Worker Collective Action

Tong Wu


Since the 1990s, Chinese government has accelerated the legalization and standardization of labor relations in enterprises and has paid attention to the social stability. This paper analyzes two workers’ protests of defending rights pursuant to the law which take place in a medium-sized Taiwan-funded manufacturing enterprise in Shanghai. The author focuses, on one hand, on the increase of urban worker’s right consciousness, and workers’ self-organization under the direction of worker elite in the background of “maintaining social stability”. On the other hand, worker’s law-abiding strategy developed according to the social governance means of local government is explored. The last part of this paper attempts to examine institutional origins, positive significance and limitations of this kind of collective protest.

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Journal of Politics and Law ISSN 1913-9047 (Print) ISSN 1913-9055 (Online)  Email:

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