Based on intensive ethnographic fieldwork in Thailand,
Textures of Struggle focuses on the experiences of Thai
women who are employed at textile factories and examines how the
all-encompassing nature of wage work speaks to issues of worker
accommodation and resistance within various factory settings. Why
are some women less tolerant of their working conditions than
others? How is it that women who have similar levels of education,
come from the same socioeconomic background, and enter the same
occupation, nevertheless emerge with different experiences and
reactions to their wage employment?
Women in the Thai apparel industry, Piya Pangsapa finds, have
very different experiences of labor "militancy" and
"non-militancy." Through interviews with women at two kinds of
factories-one linked to the global economy through local capital
investment and another through transnational capital-Pangsapa
examines issues of worker consciousness with a focus on the process
by which women become activists. She explores the different degrees
of control and coercion employed by factory managers and shows how
women were able to overcome conditions of adversity by relying on
the close personal ties they developed with each other.
Textures of Struggle reveals what it is like for women to
feel powerlessness and passivity in Thai sweatshops but also shows
how they are equally able to resist and rebel.
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