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Working-Class Network SocietyCommunication Technology and the Information Have-Less in Urban China$
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Jack Linchuan Qiu

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780262170062

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262170062.001.0001

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(p.85) 4 Migrants
Working-Class Network Society

Jack Linchuan Qiu

The MIT Press

This chapter offers an overview of the basic conditions of have-less migrants under conditions of industrialization and urbanization in a global context. It examines the link between have-less migrants and their working-class information and communication technologies (ICTs), concentrating on the connection between empowerment and networked connectivity. The chapter then describes variations among have-less migrants by gender, ethnicity, and regional identity, and their translocal networking through working-class ICTs. It shows that ICT connectivity produces openings for empowerment and upward social mobility, and also paves the way for alienation and disempowerment in the context of an overwhelmingly commercialized urban society. Physical mobility has increased with the spread of working-class ICTs. The chapter then suggests that the rise of working-class ICTs is a harbinger of new class dynamics.

Keywords:   have-less migrants, industrialization, urbanization, working-class ICTs, empowerment, networked connectivity, gender, ethnicity, regional identity, translocal networking

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