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See detailThe politics of labor collective mobilization in South China
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2013, November 22)

There has been in the last decade an increase in collective mobilization around labour in China. A growing body of scholarship shows that, in addition to the increase in the number of protests, these ... [more ▼]

There has been in the last decade an increase in collective mobilization around labour in China. A growing body of scholarship shows that, in addition to the increase in the number of protests, these social movements have often also grown in scale and that protesters have become increasingly capable of articulating collective interests within their struggles. This presentation reviews these trends through a combination of scholarly literature review and ethnographic work. [less ▲]

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See detailRepresenting rural migrants in films: an exploration of the subjectivities and agency of rural migrants in independant Chinese documentaries
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2013, July 03)

One of the defining features of Chinese new documentaries is the relationship which the filmmakers build with the subjects they are filming thanks to their bottom-up perspectives. In this paper, I will ... [more ▼]

One of the defining features of Chinese new documentaries is the relationship which the filmmakers build with the subjects they are filming thanks to their bottom-up perspectives. In this paper, I will discuss Lü Xinyu’s argument that new documentary filmmakers have allowed “the power of reality to inter into their films” and that this reality “thereby exceeds their subjective will as filmmakers” (Lü 2010: 28). More specifically, by looking at how rural migrant workers are represented in these films, I will argue that new documentaries provide a very valuable vantage point in order to engage with the rich and at once highly contradictory dimension of rural migrant workers’ identity and agency made of aspirations, hopes, but also frustration, and hardship. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring the cultural politics of labour in South China
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2013, June 20)

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See detailMigrant labour Culture in Post-Mao China
Florence, Eric ULg

in Books and Ideas (2013)

Against a backdrop of economic growth and growing spate of collective actions, rural migrant workers have developed narratives of migrant labour. This essay studies articles, diaries, poems and online ... [more ▼]

Against a backdrop of economic growth and growing spate of collective actions, rural migrant workers have developed narratives of migrant labour. This essay studies articles, diaries, poems and online songs asserting their collective subaltern identity and specific norms and values. [less ▲]

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See detailCensure, liberté d’expression et dynamiques sociopolitiques en Chine contemporaine
Florence, Eric ULg

in Culture, le Magazine Culturel de l'Université de Liège (2013)

Comment rendre compte de la complexité de la question de l’expression d’une parole publique et politique en Chine contemporaine autrement que par le biais d’une opposition frontale entre expression et ... [more ▼]

Comment rendre compte de la complexité de la question de l’expression d’une parole publique et politique en Chine contemporaine autrement que par le biais d’une opposition frontale entre expression et répression ? Dans cette contribution, se penchant sur le cas de la presse et des nouveaux médias, l’auteur propose une approche de cette question mettant l’accent sur les rapports de force, les oppositions et les accommodements entre l’État-Parti et les différentes catégories de la population chinoise, ainsi que sur les luttes symboliques et matérielles qui animent la société chinoise aujourd’hui. [less ▲]

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See detail« Aigre, sucré, amer et épicé » Comment les travailleurs migrants racontent leurs expériences de vie et de labeur en Chine
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2013, February 03)

Les migrations de ruraux vers les villes chinoises concernent aujourd’hui de 150 à 200 millions de personnes. Comment ces travailleurs migrants racontent-ils leurs expériences de vie, de labeur «de sang ... [more ▼]

Les migrations de ruraux vers les villes chinoises concernent aujourd’hui de 150 à 200 millions de personnes. Comment ces travailleurs migrants racontent-ils leurs expériences de vie, de labeur «de sang et de sueur», leurs aspirations et leurs espoirs ? Comment réinventent-ils leur village natal entre un milieu urbain souvent idéalisé et une expérience quotidienne faite d’indignité, de marginalisation et de précarité ? Quelles formes prennent les processus de construction de leur identité collective et comment ces processus s’articulent-ils aux luttes menées au quotidien pour défendre leurs droits ? Nous tenterons de répondre à ces questions en allant au plus près des vies de ces travailleurs à travers un exposé vivant, parsemé d’extraits de films, de chansons et autres récits populaires. [less ▲]

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See detail"Illegalisation, visibilisation and appropriation: a few thoughts on the politics of migrant labor in South China"
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference (2012, October 26)

Practices of legal and bureaucratic categorisation, as well normative practices of naming are key within the endless construction and reinvention of nation-states. Such practices are part of larger and ... [more ▼]

Practices of legal and bureaucratic categorisation, as well normative practices of naming are key within the endless construction and reinvention of nation-states. Such practices are part of larger and complex configurations of power along with institutions, more or less formal-informal practices of social control and governing. Today’s production and circulation of categories such “illegal migrant”, “refugee”, “young delinquent”, etc. need to be thought of in relation to categories such as “the national citizen” and the core values and principles attached to such categories. In this paper, I will explore how the dialectics of legality-illegality ─ and practices of visibilisation and invisibilisation ─ can be problematized in relation to a dual process: the ritual affirmation of the Party-state authority and the identity formation of rural migrant workers in South-China. I will argue that such politics ought to be read within the political economy of South-China or what Lee Ching-Kwan has called “decentralized legal authoritarianism” (Lee 2007). By looking at the production and circulation of the category of “the three no’s” (sanwu), I will show that the ambiguity and the flexibility of how this category is used is central in order to account for its symbolic and performative power. [less ▲]

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See detail« ‘Quitter le village pour emprunter le chemin vers le Sud’ : luttes hégémoniques autour de catégories d’émancipation en Chine ».
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference (2012, October 25)

Dans un article de 2002, Jean and John Comarrof se penchent sur les « contradictions expérientielles » de ce qu’ils appellent un « capitalisme millénariste », c’est-à-dire « un capitalisme investi d’une ... [more ▼]

Dans un article de 2002, Jean and John Comarrof se penchent sur les « contradictions expérientielles » de ce qu’ils appellent un « capitalisme millénariste », c’est-à-dire « un capitalisme investi d’une force salvatrice » devant permettre la transformation des marginalisés et des subalternes » (Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, « Alien-Nation : Zombies, Immigrants, and Millenial Capitalism », The South Atlantic Quarterly, n° 101, 4, Fall 2002). L’étude du fonctionnement du capitalisme flexible en Chine, avec son processus d’accumulation résultant de la combinaison de mécanismes institutionnels hérités du maoïsme et de mécanismes de marché, permet de se pencher sur les ruses du capitalisme, sur les redéploiements de modes complexes de gouvernement et de domination et sur les modes d’accommodement et de résistances des individus et groupes sociaux. Dans cette communication, j’explore des modes de domination qui, en parallèle avec la répression routinière et les régimes de production disciplinaires, agissent de façon complexe parce qu’ils sont basés sur des catégories d’émancipation et qu’ils travaillent au niveau des espoirs individuels de changement de condition, agissant au niveau des catégories de sens commun ou pratiques dans un contexte où le développement des forces productives et du marché constitue un champ idéologique intensément investi par les élites urbaines et l’Etat-parti. En me penchant sur les modalités de mise en récit et de luttes autour de la migration et du travail en ville─ mobilisations stratégiques, accommodements, renversements et chevauchements hégémoniques ─, j’entends montrer comment les expériences et récits des travailleurs migrants chinois s’articulent au sein d’un projet hégémonique de légitimation de l’ordre social et d’extraction de la plus value. Pour appréhender ce processus, je mobiliserai la notion de « cadre hégémonique » (Roseberry) entendu comme projet politique visant à établir un cadre matériel et discursif commun afin de cadrer et d’organiser la colère, la frustration mais aussi les espoirs, les aspirations et les désirs. [less ▲]

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See detail“The cultural politics of migrant labour rights in South China: from narrating the “dagong” to online boundary-spanning”
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2012, September 05)

For the last two decades, in a context of combined flexible capitalism and “decentralized legal authoritarianism” (Lee Ching-Kwan, Against the Law), factories of the Pearl River Delta have been witnessing ... [more ▼]

For the last two decades, in a context of combined flexible capitalism and “decentralized legal authoritarianism” (Lee Ching-Kwan, Against the Law), factories of the Pearl River Delta have been witnessing a growing spate of collective actions by rural migrant workers. In this paper the narrative categories and “frames of contention” mobilized by migrant workers in claim-making will be investigated. The focus is put chiefly on two differently mediated genres of narratives, i.e. migrant workers’ narratives in magazines on the one hand, and more recent online written practices centred on the politics of rights and identity on the other hand. Such cultural politics of migrant labour has been insufficiently taken into account when considering the greater right awareness and surge in collective mobilization in China for the last decade. The paper develops the argument that workers’ written practices within magazines help constituting a space for struggle and negotiation around major values, state polities and legislation linked to workers’ rights. Secondly, drawing on the notion of “disorderly media” (Latham), it is argued that some of the online written practices by migrant workers may provide platforms for more radical articulations of the politics of rights and collective mobilization. What are the points of discursive rupture and contention around which processes of reversal, reapropriation, affirmation or euphemization occur? What kinds of material, socioeconomic and political relations do these identification and legitimization processes reveal? These are the questions that will be investigated. A vast body of data are used for this paper, including songs and poems by rural workers, participant observation, in-depth interviews, published and unpublished letters to the editor of several migrants’ magazines, etc. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a New Development Paradigm in Twenty-First Century China. Economy, Society and Politics
Florence, Eric ULg; Defraigne, Pierre

Book published by Routledge (2012)

This book argues that the current state of China requires an important paradigm shift in the way the party-state manages the country’s development, and goes on to assess the fitness of the party-state for ... [more ▼]

This book argues that the current state of China requires an important paradigm shift in the way the party-state manages the country’s development, and goes on to assess the fitness of the party-state for implementing such a paradigm shift and the likelihood of the party-state bringing this about. It brings together an examination of the very latest situation in a range of key areas where current developments have the potential to undermine substantially the status quo, areas such as the recent economic crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, increasing labour unrest, mounting calls for social justice, worsening urban-rural disparity, the urgent need to implement social welfare programmes, the rise of civil society, and the impact of new media. Overall, the book provides a thorough appraisal of the difficulties which China currently faces. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction
Florence, Eric ULg; Madariaga College of Europe Foundation, Defraigne

in Florence, Eric; Defraigne, Pierre (Eds.) Towards a New Development Paradigm in Twenty-First Century China. Economy, Society and Politics (2012)

This book argues that the current state of China requires an important paradigm shift in the way the party-state manages the country’s development, and goes on to assess the fitness of the party-state for ... [more ▼]

This book argues that the current state of China requires an important paradigm shift in the way the party-state manages the country’s development, and goes on to assess the fitness of the party-state for implementing such a paradigm shift and the likelihood of the party-state bringing this about. It brings together an examination of the very latest situation in a range of key areas where current developments have the potential to undermine substantially the status quo, areas such as the recent economic crisis and the resulting economic slowdown, increasing labour unrest, mounting calls for social justice, worsening urban-rural disparity, the urgent need to implement social welfare programmes, the rise of civil society, and the impact of new media. Overall, the book provides a thorough appraisal of the difficulties which China currently faces. [less ▲]

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See detailSocio-political landscape at the eve of the 18th Party Congress
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2012)

In this presentation, the key features of the Mao-era legacies will firstly be introduced to the public. One will highlight how these socialist institutions still contribute to define a system which has ... [more ▼]

In this presentation, the key features of the Mao-era legacies will firstly be introduced to the public. One will highlight how these socialist institutions still contribute to define a system which has been defined by Lee Ching-Kwan as “Decentralized legal authoritarianism”. In a second section, the modalities of state-society relations in 21st century China will be presented in a dynamic way. How can one define these various modalities? How is the Party adapting its ideological system to a rapidly changing society and to socioeconomic transformation? What are the major challenges facing the Chinese government as one witnesses mounting collective mobilization and contentious politics? These are some of the questions which will be explored within this presentation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe People’s Republic of China : sociopolitical landscape on the eve of the 18th Party congress
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2012)

In this presentation, the key features of the Mao-era legacies will firstly be introduced to the public. One will highlight how these socialist institutions still contribute to define a system which has ... [more ▼]

In this presentation, the key features of the Mao-era legacies will firstly be introduced to the public. One will highlight how these socialist institutions still contribute to define a system which has been defined by Lee Ching-Kwan as “Decentralized legal authoritarianism”. In a second section, the modalities of state-society relations in 21st century China will be presented in a dynamic way. How can one define these various modalities? How is the Party adapting its ideological system to a rapidly changing society and to socioeconomic transformation? What are the major challenges facing the Chinese government as one witnesses mounting collective mobilization and contentious politics? These are some of the questions which will be explored within this presentation. [less ▲]

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See detail"Pistes pour une étude des relations de pouvoir en République populaire de Chine: variations autour des processus de légitimation et identification en rapport avec les travailleurs ruraux dans le Delta de la Rivière des perles"
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2012, February 23)

Une diversité d'approches théoriques s'offre au chercheur en matière d'étude des relations de pouvoir. L’auteur propose pour cette séance de réfléchir sur la pertinence de certains outillages théoriques ... [more ▼]

Une diversité d'approches théoriques s'offre au chercheur en matière d'étude des relations de pouvoir. L’auteur propose pour cette séance de réfléchir sur la pertinence de certains outillages théoriques et en particulier de confronter des cadres "binaires" (James C. Scott notamment) aux approches en terme d'hégémonie inspirées d'Antonio Gramsci, ainsi qu'aux conceptualisations en terme de gouvernementalité (Michel Foucault). Nous espérons ainsi souligner la difficulté à prendre en compte les contradictions dans l'étude du pouvoir dans la société contemporaine. [less ▲]

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See detailSinging the ‘dagong’ via the web: suffering, longings and ideals. An exploration of the everyday politics of migrant labour in South China
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference (2011, December 10)

Since the 1980s, new forms of labour, new subjectivities and attitudes related to the market and to flexible capitalism have been more and more prized in the PRC coexisting with older strands of ... [more ▼]

Since the 1980s, new forms of labour, new subjectivities and attitudes related to the market and to flexible capitalism have been more and more prized in the PRC coexisting with older strands of narratives and cultural productions linked to Mao-era state-socialism. The process of cultural re-invention and of contention around “migrant labour” provides a particularly interesting vintage point in order to delve into the twin dynamics of rural workers’ unstable identification processes (at the individual and collective levels) and at the state project of legitimation. Within this paper, I intend to explore how the new media cultures inform and relate to the cultural politics of migrant labour in today’s China, including the shaping of new subjectivities, by examining rural workers’ use of the internet to narrate both their hometown and their experience of labour. I will look specifically at the everyday politics of rural workers’ practices of “song writing” via the internet and will delve upon the following questions: how does this practice of song writing/listening inform the politics of identity formation among rural labourers? how can one relate rural migrant workers’ song writing to the increasingly “on the ground” organized waves of labour protests in South China? I will argue that the virtual space which this practice provides a useful vintage point in order to examine how state and non-state actors can engage each other and how the Party-state is constantly re-inventing novel ways to shape its system of ideological signs. The datas used for this paper will include songs and poems by rural workers, an extensive analysis by the author of the Shenzhen mainstream written press, participant observation, in-depth interviews, and a large body of unpublished letters to the editor of several migrants’ magazines. [less ▲]

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See detailCatégorisations autour de la figure du « travailleur rural » dans le Delta de la Rivière des Perles. Luttes hégémoniques, légitimation et identifications.
Florence, Eric ULg

Conference (2011, December 02)

Les pratiques de catégorisation juridico-bureaucratique, mais aussi rhétorique occupent une place centrale au niveau des processus de constitution et de réinvention continuelle des Etats-nations comme les ... [more ▼]

Les pratiques de catégorisation juridico-bureaucratique, mais aussi rhétorique occupent une place centrale au niveau des processus de constitution et de réinvention continuelle des Etats-nations comme les travaux de nombreux historiens l’ont montré. Aujourd’hui encore, la production et la circulation de catégories de l’altérité comme « immigré », « réfugié », « sans papier », « clandestin », « jeune des banlieues », etc. peuvent être pensées en rapport avec la constitution du « citoyen national » ainsi qu’avec valeurs et principes qui lui sont associés. Ces pratiques de catégorisation de la population participent de processus d’institution de relations de pouvoir. Ils touchent aux questions de construction sans cesse renouvelée de la légitimité des Etats, mais aussi au processus d’identification des groupes concernés. Cette problématique et cette dialectique « légitimation-identification » est particulièrement intéressante à étudier dans le cas des travailleurs d’origine rurale en République populaire de Chine. On s’intéressera à ces pratiques et luttes autour des catégories de discours car celles-ci participent, de configurations complexes d’institutions, de pratiques de contrôle social et de gouvernement. Ces catégorisations sont tour à tour le produit de ces configurations tout comme elles les constituent. Dans notre exposé, à travers une confrontation entre différents matériaux (presse, littérature migrante, chansons, entretiens, etc.), nous nous pencherons sur les relations de pouvoir et les luttes que recèle la catégorie de dagong (打工). Nous montrerons qu’elle cristallise tout un réseau de principes et de valeurs centraux dans la société chinoise post-maoïste et que la figure du « travailleur rural » (dagongzhe) concentre sur elle un champ normatif très dense. Nous nous poserons également la question de savoir quels outils conceptuels utiliser afin d’appréhender ces processus. [less ▲]

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See detailArguments for Engaging Contemporary China
Florence, Eric ULg

E-print/Working paper (2011)

Whether it be the 2008 Olympic games or Shanghai‘s 2010 Universal Expo, for several years now China, a country of more than 1.4 billion habitants, is mentioned almost every day in the news. Not a week ... [more ▼]

Whether it be the 2008 Olympic games or Shanghai‘s 2010 Universal Expo, for several years now China, a country of more than 1.4 billion habitants, is mentioned almost every day in the news. Not a week goes by without hearing about its growth records, its clout in international trade and in raw material consumption, or about the emergence of a middle class, with a consumption level nearing that of the Western world. Far from giving the pretention of proposing a concrete representation of today’s China, what is suggested in this paper are several elements that may shed light on important socio-political processes in contemporary China beyond newsbytes. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 33 (11 ULg)