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The Precariat in China: A Comment on Conceptual Confusion

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image of Rural China

This comment critiques the concept of “the informal sector” and explains the meaning of the precariat in considering the perspectives of the authors of the articles in this special issue. (This article is in English.)

Affiliations: 1: SOAS, University of London,


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1. Du Caixia (2016) “"The birth of social class online: the Chinese precariat on the internet."” Ph.D. diss. University of Tilburg.
2. Jialiang Huang, and Yongsheng Wang (2017) “"Peasants’ informal employment: a microsocietal study of two villages of Dingxian, Hebei".” Rural ChinaVol 14, 1: 10127.
3. Huang Philip C. C. (2013) “"China’s informal economy revisited".” Rural ChinaVol 10, 1: 6682. [Crossref]
4. ILO [International Labour Organization] (2004) Economic Security for a Better World. Geneva: International Labour Office.
5. Judd Ellen (2017) “"Care work in China—in and beyond the informal economy".” Rural ChinaVol 14, 1: 4260.
6. Standing Guy (2014a) A Precariat Charter: From Denizens to Citizens. London: Bloomsbury.
7. Standing Guy (2014b) “"Understanding the precariat through labour and work".” Development and ChangeVol 45, 5: 96380. [Crossref]
8. Swider Sarah (2017) “"Informal and precarious work: the precariat and China".” Rural ChinaVol 14, 1: 1941.
9. Wu Jieh-min (2017) “"Migrant citizenship regimes in globalized China: a historical-institutional comparison".” Rural ChinaVol 14, 1: 12854.

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