From Forest Farm to Sawmill
Stories of Labor, Gender, and the Chinese State
- PUBLISHED: May 2024
- SUBJECT LISTING: Anthropology, Asian Studies / China, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 184 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 6 b&w illus., 2 maps, 1 table
- ISBN: 9780295752679
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Socialist China’s state forestry and timber industries employed men as state workers and women as family dependents and collective workers who, beginning in the 1950s, turned rural land into urban-industrial space. These features make forestry a unique case with which to investigate how state policies constructed and reinforced intertwined and co-constitutive dualisms between humanity and nature, urban and rural places, production and reproduction, and male and female labor. Centering on oral histories in Fujian, Shuxuan Zhou situates firsthand accounts of labor and resistance in forestry and wood processing within the larger context of postrevolutionary socialist reforms through China’s rapid economic development after the 1990s. Zhou shows how, in response to state development projects that exploited female labor, immigrants, rurality, and forests, workers created a space for their personal and political demands. In considering how sawmill and forest farmworkers creatively reconfigured state projects and challenged authority, this book opens a conversation among the fields of gender studies, labor studies, and environmental studies.
Authors & Contributors
Shuxuan Zhou is a policy analyst in the Seattle Office of Labor Standards and an affiliated faculty member with the University of Washington Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies.
""Reveals the diverse experiences of female workers, in particular women who were marginalized by the state as dependent worker or 'collective workers,' a rarely explored group of female workers. It reveals different ways in which the labor of female factory workers was undervalued and exploited.""- Lihong Shi, author of Choosing Daughters: Family Change in Rural China
""No other book combines forestry, ethnography, and gender studies across the entire post-1949 period. From Forest Farm to Sawmill touches on economic development, the production and management of inequities, women’s labor and narrative practices, overlapping and intersectional identities, and techniques of protest.""- Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz