Facts, theoretical gaze, and journeys
in Occupational health and social estrangement in China
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The post-illness experiences of the sick worker in China constitute a prism through which state power is enmeshed with legality, interpersonal relationships, and cultural schema in society. In understanding the post-illness experiences of sick Chinese workers, the author subscribes to Foucault's view that they face a hybrid of powers involving sovereignty, discipline, and governmentality. Acknowledging a hybrid of powers, the author's own formulation to the experience of social estrangement in the context of China is premised on two pairs of conceptual correlates: homo sacer - sovereignty; and stranger - governmentality. Inspired by the studies into everyday life and governmentality, the fieldwork is concerned with the way different occupationally sick workers strategize their actions for pursuing compensation. It is assumed that their strategization outside the political field reflects the taken-for-granted assumptions in everyday life, which allow us to glimpse into how power is interwoven into everyday life.


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