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Technomobility in ChinaYoung Migrant Women and Mobile Phones$
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Cara Wallis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814795262

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814795262.001.0001

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Mobile Communication and Labor Politics

Mobile Communication and Labor Politics

(p.145) 5 Mobile Communication and Labor Politics
Technomobility in China

Cara Wallis

NYU Press

This chapter continues to elaborate the notions of immobile mobility and necessary convergence through analyzing mobile phones and labor politics. It examines whether mobile phones can enhance migrant women's economic opportunities, such as by helping them to find a better job or increase their income. Employers are revealed to utilize mobile phones for purposes of surveillance and migrant women, in contrast, use mobile phones as tools of resistance. This chapter argues that despite their use of mobile phones, migrant women remain relatively immobile in the labor sphere, an area where migrant women must contend with myriad power relations that mirror and instantiate their subordinate position in the larger society. This relationship between mobile phones and labor can be analyzed in four realms: job seeking and social mobility; income generation; employer control and surveillance; and “mobile resistance”—largely symbolic yet nonetheless meaningful—by migrant women in the workplace.

Keywords:   immobile mobility, necessary convergence, mobile phones, labor politics, economic opportunities, surveillance, migrant women, mobile resistance, employer control

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