打工女孩 | Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang

    打工女孩 | Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang

    “出去”,农民工用这个简单的词定义他们的流动生活。“在家没事做,所以我出去了”,出去打工的故事就是这样开始的。如今,中国有一亿五千万农民工。在南部工厂林立的城市,农民工在拉动国家出口经济的流水线上全力以赴。他们代表了人类历史上最大规模的人口迁移,是一百年来欧洲移民到美国总人数的三倍。新一代农民工出现的时候,大多数人都认为,迁徙是一条追求更好生活的路。他们比上一辈更年轻,受过更好的教育,外出的动机也更多是因为对城市机会的追求,而不是受农村贫困所迫。是自尊,而不是恐惧,让他们留在城市。走出家乡并留在外面——出去,就是改变你的命运。当我想写本关于中国的书时,这个国家的农民工吸引了我——几百万人,离开村庄,去城市工作。

    直到后来,我才发觉,原来我跟我写到的那些女孩有着那么深的联系。我也离开了家,了解生活在举目无亲的地方那种孤独漂浮的感觉;我亲身感受到人轻易就会消失不见。我也更能理解那种全新开始生活的快乐和自由。打工女孩的故事有某些共性。在工厂里你很容易迷失自我,那里有成百上千个背景相似的姑娘:在农村出生,没念过什么书,穷。工厂是做什么的从来都不重要,重要的是那份工作带来的艰难或机遇。打工女孩的命运转折点永远是她向老板发难的时候。那一刻她冒着失去一切的风险,从人群中脱颖而出,迫使这个世界将她视为一个个体。在中国,外出务工已经有二十多个年头,绝大多数外国媒体都报道过工厂内部的恶劣环境,许多写中国农民工的书也并不真实。我希望能写点儿别的,写写工人自己怎么看待外出务工。我尤其对女性感兴趣。背井离乡,她们得到最多,或许失去也最多。

    China has more than 114 million migrant workers, which represents the largest migration in human history. But while these workers, who leave their rural towns to find jobs in China's cities, are the driving force behind China's growing economy, little is known about their day-to-day lives or the sociological significance of this massive movement. In Factory Girls, Leslie T. Chang tells the story of these workers primarily through the lives of two young women whom she follows over the course of three years. Chang vividly portrays a world where you can lose your boyfriend and your friends with the loss of a cell phone; where lying about your age, your education, and your work experience is often a requisite for getting ahead; where a few computer or English lessons can catapult you into a completely different social class. Throughout this affecting portrait of migrant life, Chang also interweaves the story of her own family's migrations, within China and to the West, providing a historical frame of reference for her investigation.

    At a time when the Olympics will have shifted the world's focus to China, Factory Girls offers a previously untold story about the immense population of unknown women who work countless hours, often in hazardous conditions, to provide us with the material goods we take for granted. A book of global significance, it demonstrates how the movement from rural villages to cities is remaking individual lives and the fates of families, transforming our world much as immigration to America's shores remade our own society a century ago.

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