China Industrialization

Vincent Dong

3 Image Analysis

The image to the left, is a picture of a Foxconn Factory, with suicide nets at the bottom. This picture is deeply disturbing, and shows many things. One, is the terrible working conditions. Workers work for numerous hours a day, with little free time in between. They are forced to work, and "Anyone unable to meet their hourly quota is not allowed to rest" (cbs news). To add to this, they get paid very little, nowhere nearly enough to even leave the place. Workers could not deal with these terrible conditions and had no motivation to even work anymore. So, many had attempted suicide. And the factory owners responded with putting safety nets on their buildings, showing how terrible these places are. The image in the middle shows women workers. Factories like and intend to hire women, because they are said to be obedient and non-rebellious. So, owners believe that they can easily manipulate them and give them little pay. Women are fired "for becoming pregnant" (businnessweek), treated harshly different then others, and even sexually harassed by other male workers . This picture shows the theme of gender inequality, and how hard it is for women to work in factories. The last picture to the left, shows air pollution. The main thing that causes bad air in China are the abundant amount of labor factories. Having bad air brings terrible environmental conditions, and everyday citizens breath in this poisonous air, which causes illness. And inside all of these air polluting buildings, are hundreds of workers being forced to manufacture goods that we buy. This picture primarily portrays the contaminated environment, and the numerous amount of manufacture factories within China.

Adjectives: Servile, Suicidal, Infectious, Ceaseless, Perilous

Industrialization in China is very slave-like, the definition of servile. Factory owners and assistants force workers to work ceaseless, and if their quota is not met, they are severely punished like slaves. An example of a punishment is "being made to stand at attention for hours or endure a public humiliation of reading statements of self-criticism" (cbs news). The nonstop cycle of working only comes to an end on Chinese New Year, which only comes once a year. Industrialization also leads to many perilous things, one which includes suicides. There is very little safety within these factories, causing daily injuries to workers. From hand injuries to adverse health, all these are caused by accidents within the factories. "More than 43 per cent of workers reported that they had experienced, or witnessed a workplace accident" (Academic Onefile). Do to these horrendous working and living conditions, the only way workers believe they can escape their deprived lives it to commit suicide. In 2010, 18 workers at Foxconn attempted to commit suicide. Finally, the last adjective, Infectious, is one of China's main problems when it comes to industrialization. Factories in china release huge amounts of CO2 and other poisonous gasses into the air. The "bad air from China is blowing across the Pacific Ocean and contributing to smog in the United States" (Washingtonpost), infecting the U.S. And because industrialization is huge in China, there are hundreds of factories, which all infect the air with poison.
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From using the British industrial revolution as a guide, many inferences and predictions can be made for the future of the Chinese industry. Do to the terrible conditions workers are living and working in, many of them will most likely form unions. This also happened in the British Industrial Revolution, because workers had poor working conditions and wages. So, just like what happened in Britain, Chinese manufactures will try to collectively bargain for better working conditions, and higher wages. Knowing how inhumane factory owners are, they will most likely decline all offers proposed by the workers. Therefore, the workers will go on strike. Some workers may even use violent actions to meet demands. There has been already a couple of examples of this. A former factory worker burned down a factory because "he was angry about less than $500 is unpaid wages" (Huffingtonpost). There also have been multiple suicide attempts, particularly at Foxconn factories. I believe actions like these will keep occurring until most of workers' demands are met. And after factory workers have had enough, they will attempt to meet most of the demands of workers. Also, in the British industrial revolution, urbanization increased the amount of jobs. Because China's population is rapidly increasing, and many are moving into cities, jobs, particularly at factories, will also increase. And when working conditions in the future get better, there will be massive movements to cities, because countrymen will be desirous for these nice jobs.


Works Cited

"China Factory Fire Started By Ex-Worker Over Unpaid Wages: Report." Huffington Post: n. pag. Print.

Heffernan, Margaret. "What happened after the Foxconn suicides." CBS News. CBS, n.d. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

"Excess working time and poor safety found at Apple's Chinese supplier sites." The Safety & Health Practitioner May 2012: 56. Academic OneFile. Web. 18 Dec. 2014.

Larson, Christina. "China's Female Factory Workers Face Widespread Sexual Harassment." Bloomburg Businessweek: n. pag. Print.

Wan, William. "Study: Pollution from Chinese factories is harming air quality on U.S. West Coast." The Washington Post: n. pag. Print.