Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationCalifornia, Davis, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9678
Approve DateApril 30, 2018
Project TitleHaruyama, Justin L., U. of California, Davis, CA - To aid research on 'Intimate Labors: The Production of 'South-South' Capitalist Labor Relations at Chinese-Operated Mines in Zambia,' supervised by Dr. James H. Smith
Preliminary abstract: This project involves twelve months of ethnographic investigation into two Chinese-operated coal mines in southern Zambia: one operated by a Chinese state-owned enterprise (SOE), and the other privately owned by five brothers from China’s Jiangxi Province. Both mines hire managers primarily from China while recruiting their ordinary workforce exclusively from Zambia and neighboring African countries. The research will examine how actors from various racial, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds at the mines struggle to understand and regulate each other’s presence, thereby illuminating the broader social consequences and capitalist transformations at work in everyday encounters around the extraction of coal. I suggest that existing global accounts of shifts in capitalism to a more South-dominated world lack an ethnographically-nuanced account of how these processes are experienced and understood by local actors on the ground, an account that this project will provide. To do so, this project will also pay close attention to historical experience, as preliminary research has shown that the sometimes-traumatic encounters with colonialism, socialism, and neoliberalism experienced by participants from both Zambia and China continue to have profound reverberations in their actions and discourses at the mines today.