According to Leslie Chang, the author of the book Factory Girls, the so called “Floating population” are the workers from the villages who have no skills in any work and have come to the city where they are discriminated upon by their employers. The reason for such mass movement by many young people from the rural areas to the urban town is the search for jobs because the villages around Dongguan do not offer any meaningful employment for the young men. Another reason for the migration is poverty, thus many tend to move in to Dongguan in order to get some money and improve both their lives and the lives of their close relatives. Some characters in the book move to Dongguan, the urban center, to try their luck after hearing about the success stories of people in towns.
According to the book, Don Guan’s mainly depicts that the city is polluted, chaotic, and above all corrupt. It is a place where people arriving from the village can double or even triple their income by simply learning English and taking some computer lessons. The city is also a major black spot for fake documents such as Identification cards and driving license.
The factory girls described in the book endure a myriad challenges. The girls are compelled to stretch themselves by doing anything within their power in a bid to survive in the city, even if it means lying. On a lighter note, these girls, just like many other migrants who move to towns, enjoy some time out partying in clubs thus in some aspect it can be said that their life is fun. They also live in fear because many people are not sure of the jobs they do and they risk being fired from their current positions, yet jobs are not easy to find.
The life of the factory girls is not any different from the lives of any migration workers anywhere in the world. The only difference between the older generation migrants and the new generation is that the former group moves to towns mostly after being invited by another person to fill a job vacancy, whereas latter group moves to towns without even knowing where to stay or start. This is the reason why many young people suffer in the process of trying to adopt in the big cities.
The Yue Yuen factory makes shoes for the Adidas and Nike shoe companies. It has over 70,000 workers, but does not provide favorable working conditions for the employees: they work for long hours, discrimination is rife, and the management team ignores the workers’ interests. Being a factory that produces shoes for some of the leading shoemakers in the world, whatever goes in the factory is outright exploitation. This desperate situation is evident owing to the overwhelming pressure from politicians for the factory to produce more with the least expenses in order to generate money for them.
China has an education system established and run by the government but some differences abound in the way the commercial schools conduct their teaching. The schools incorporate other extra subjects such as computer studies in order to prepare their students for the future. Their approach is also different as they put more emphasis on religious education as a way of molding the students.