Dr. Lisa Rofel and Dr. Sylvia Yanogisako will collaborate on a study of the textile and garment manufacturing industry in China's Lower Yangze River Region, in the cities of Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Jiaxing and their surrounding townships and villages, where Italian firms have recently invested in the textile and garment manufacturing industry. The study will investigate the three types of already-existing collaborations between Chinese and Italians in the textile industry, and a fourth type that is likely to emerge: 1)Joint Venture with Active Management Collaboration, 2) Joint Venture with Division of Management Labor, 3) Wholly Chinese-owned Enterprise with Italian Subcontracting; 4) Wholly Italian-owned Firms in China. The researchers have two primary research questions. The first is, what new ideas and practices of management, entrepreneurship, work, and social relations are being forged by Italians and Chinese involved in joint ventures in China and are these ideas and practicies converging? The second is whether or not the Italian and Chinese entrepreneurs, managers and consultants form a transnational social class? This researchers will study two enterprises from each of the four types, interviewing consultants, experts and representatives of government and supranational agencies in China. Yanagisako and Rofel also will travel to Italy to interview the owners and managers of firms involved in collaborative enterprises in China at their headquarters and to observe the Chinese managers and entrepreneurs who travel to Italy. They will do extended ethnographic and life history interviews, supplemented by extended periods of participant observation at appropriate sites in China and Italy. This study will expand the scope of anthropology's contribution to understanding transnationalism and international business cultures by formulating a methodology for attaining a multi-perspectival ethnography. Its broader impact will be to contribute to broad public debates about globalization and to publish an ethnographic monograph accessible to a wide range of undergraduate and graduate students.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS)
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Deborah Winslow
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Stanford University
Palo Alto
United States
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