Sick coal miners
The compromising citizenry
in Occupational health and social estrangement in China
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This chapter explores dozens of inland provincial peasant coal miners who suffer from coal miners' pneumoconiosis (CWP) and supports this criticism. The sick coal miners express an unwillingness to pursue their rights through the courts or enact rightful resistance if the courts or other formal institutions fall short in delivering the promised rights. The concept of "rightful resistance" has been criticized for portraying peasants as having an overly rationalistic outlook, hence suffering from a lack of "peasantness" which shortchanges the relevant history and culture. The chapter explores the way the sick coal miners strategize their action for pursuing compensation, which is supposedly determined by their attitudes and structure of preference in everyday life. In order to achieve this, it analyzes several casual conversations between the sick coal miners, Pingkwan, and the author's fieldwork assistants Mengguo and Zhouchang.

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