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Prof Pun Ngai


+852 3917 2066

9.07, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


Pun Ngai received her PhD from University of London, SOAS in 1998. She is the winner of 2006 C. Wright Mills Award for her book, “Made in China: Women Factory Workers in a Global Workplace” (Duke University Press, 2005). Made in China is widely used as required reading in major universities in America, Europe and Asia. Together with Dying for Apple: Foxconn and Chinese Workers (co-authored with Jenny Chan and Mark Selden, 2016), these two texts have been translated into German, French, Italian, Spanish, Polish and Chinese. Two of her Chinese books were also awarded Hong Kong Book Prize 2007 and 2011 as the top ten popular book, widely read in Hong Kong and Mainland China.

She published extensively and cross- disciplinary in journals in the areas of sociology, anthropology, labor Studies, China Studies and cultural Studies. Her articles appeared in Current Sociology, Global Labor Studies, Work, Employment and Society, The China Quarterly, Modern China, and The China Journal, Positions, Public Culture and Cultural Anthropology.

Courses taught


University of London, SOAS (UK)

The University of Hong Kong

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Research interests

Social Economy
Socialist History

Current research

The research term currently works on a Collaborative Research Fund (CRF), “Social Media and Migrant Labor Protection in Mainland China” (2016-2019) UST and CUHK. This project aims to synergize macro theories of traditional social sciences which look at capital, state and class formation at the abstract level with micro theories of media and cultural studies that focus on life-world, every day practices, and new forms of communication and resistance. Inspired by the theory of digitally networked action, and informed by globalization and state theory, this project inspires to create an innovative paradigm to merge rich sociological debates with media studies so as to explore new forms of working class youth culture and novel platform of labor rights protection. Moving beyond traditional models of trade unionism and labor NGOs, this project contributes to a new exploration of attempting vocational schools as sites of learning, communicating and organizing, and preparing students to be proper working-class subjects.

Selected publications

Pun Ngai and Anita Koo (2018) “In Dialogue with Paul Willis’s Learning to Labour: Class Reproduction and the Difference of Working-Class Culture at Contemporary Vocational Schools” (Paper accepted by British Journal of Sociology of Education)

Kenneth NG, Pun, Ngai, LIU Aiyu, LU Huilin, FAN Lulu (accepted), “In Search of Workers’ Power: Garment Workers in Global Production Networks”. China Quarterly.

Smith, Chris and Pun, Ngai (2018) “Class and Precarity: An Unhappy Coupling in China’s Class Formation”, Work, Employment and Society. 32 (3): 599–

Pun Ngai, Tommy Tse, Kenneth Ng (2017), “Challenging Digital Capitalism: SACOM’s Campaigns against Apple and Foxconn as Monopoly Capital”, Information, Community and Society.

Pun, Ngai, and Anita Koo “A ‘World-Class’ (Labor) Camp/us: Foxconn and China’s new generation of labour migrants.” positions (2015), 23(3): 411–436.

Pun, Ngai, et al. “Worker–intellectual unity: Trans-border sociological intervention in Foxconn.” Current Sociology(2014): 62:2:  209–

Flecha, Ramon, and Pun Ngai. “The challenge for Mondragon: Searching for the cooperative values in times of internationalization.” Organization5 (2014): 666–682.

Pun Ngai and Jenny Chan (2013), “The Spatial Politics of Labor in China: Life, Labor, and a New Generation of Migrant Workers”, The South Atlantic Quarterly 112:1, 179–190.

Translated in Italian by Ferruccio Gambino and Devi Sacchetto. pp145–74 in Cina, La Società Armoniosa: Sfruttamento e Resistenza Degli Operai Migranti (China, the Harmonious Society: Exploitation and Resistance of Migrant Workers). Sociologia/Attualità Internazionale. Milano: Jaca Book.

Translated in German by Georg Egger, Daniel Fuchs, Thomas Immervoll, Lydia Steinmassl. pp106–29 in Arbeitskämpfe in China: Berichte von der Werkbank der Welt (Labor Disputes in China: Reports of the Workshop of the World). Wien: Promedia Verlag

Pun Ngai (2012), “Gender and Class: Women’s Working Lives in a Dormitory Labor Regime in China”, International Labor and Working-Class History, 81, Spring 2012, 178–181.

Pun Ngai and Xu Yi (2011), “Legal Activism or Class Action? The political economy of the “no boss” and “no labour relationship in China’s construction industry”, China Perspectives, No. 2011/2, 9–

Pun Ngai and Yuen-Tsang, Woon-ki Angelina (2011), “The challenges of corporate social responsibility (CSR) multi-stakeholder practices: searching for a new occupational social work model in China”, China Journal of Social Work, 4:1, 57–

Pun Ngai and Hok Bun Ku (2011), “China at the crossroads: social economy as the new way of development” China Journal of Social Work, 4:3:197–199.

Pun Ngai and Lu Huilin (2010), “Unfinished Proletarianization: Self, Anger and Class Action among the Second Generation of Peasant-Workers in Present-Day China”, Modern China, 36 (5):493–519.

Pun Ngai and Lu Huilin (2010), “A Culture of Violence: The Labor Subcontracting System and Collective Actions by Construction Workers in Post-Socialist China”, The China Journal. 64, 143–158.

Pun Ngai and Lu Huilin (2010), “Neoliberalism, Urbanism and the Plight of Construction Workers in China”, Review in World Political Economy. Vol1, No1, 127–

Pun Ngai, Chris Chan and Jenny Chan (2010), “The Role of the State, Labour Policy and Migrant Workers’ Struggles in Globalized China”, Global Labor Journal, Vol.1, Issue 1, 132–

Translated in German by Andrea Ben Lassoued. “Foxconn-Report: Suizid als Protestform junger chinesischer Wanderarbeiterlnnen.” (Suicide as a Form of Protest for Young Chinese Migrant Workers.” Clean IT. 34pp.

Chris King-chi Chan and Pun Ngai (2009), “The Making of a New Working Class? A Study of Collective Actions of Migrant Workers in South China”, The China Quarterly. Issue 198, June 2009, 287–

Pun Ngai (2009), Chinese Migrant Women Workers in a Dormitory Labour System. Asia Insights. 1, June, 9–13.

Leung, Pak Nang and Pun Ngai (2009), “The Radicalization of the New Chinese Working Class: A Case Study of Collective Action in the Gemstone Industry”, The Third World Quarterly. Vol 30, No.3, 551–

Pun Ngai and Chris King-chi Chan (2008), “The Subsumption of Class Discourse in China”, Boundary 2, Vol 35, No 2, 75–

Pun Ngai and Yu Xiaomin (2008), “When Wal-Mart and the Chinese dormitory labour regime meet: a study of three toy factories in China”, China Journal of Social Work, Volume 1, Issue 2 July 2008, 110–129.

Pun, Ngai and Smith Chris (2007), “Putting Transnational Labour Process in its Place: Dormitory Labour Regime in Post-Socialist China”, Work, Employment and Society, Vol 21, No 1, 27–

Pun Ngai (2007), “The Dormitory Labor Regime: Sites of Control and Resistance for Women Migrant Workers in South China”, Feminist Economics, Volume 13, Issue 3, 2007, 239–258

Smith Chris and Pun Ngai (2006), “The dormitory labor regime in China as a site for control and resistance”, International Journal of Human Resource Management 17:8 August, 1456–

Pun, Ngai (2005), “Global Production, Company Codes of Conduct and Labour Conditions in China: A Case Study of Two Factories”. China Journal, July, 101–

Sum, Ngai Ling and Ngai Pun (2005), “Globalization and Paradoxes of Ethical Transnational Production: Codes of Conduct in a Chinese Workplace”, Competition and Change, Vol. 9, Issue 2, June, 181–

Pun, Ngai (2004), “Women Workers and precarious employment in Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, China”, Gender and Development, 12, No. 2, July, 29–37.

Pun Ngai (2004), “Endengering Chinese Modernities: The Sexual Politics of Dagongmei in a Dormitory Labour Regime,” Asian Studies Review, June 2004, Vol.28, 151–

Alvin Y. So and Ngai Pun (2004), “Introduction: Globalization and anti-Globalization of SARS in Chinese Societies”, Asian Perspective,28, No.1, 5–17.

Pun, Ngai (2003), “Subsumption or Consumption?: The Phantom of Consumer Revolution in Globalizing China”, Cultural Anthropology, 18(4), November, 469–492.

Pun, Ngai (2002), “Am I the only survivor? Global Capital, Local Gaze and Social Trauma in China”, Public Culture 14(2): 341-347.

Pun Ngai and Lee Kim-ming (2002), “Locating Globalization: The Changing Role of the City-state in Post-handover Hong Kong”, The China Review 2(1): 1–28, Spring.

Pun, Ngai (2000), “Opening a Minor Genre of Resistance in Reform China: Scream, Dream and Transgression in a Workplace”, Positions, 8:2, 1–

Pun, Ngai (1999), “Becoming Dagongmei: the Politics of Identity and Difference in Reform China”, The China Journal, 42. July, 1–19.

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