What role does law play in citizens’ conceptions of justice? When workers struggle for rights, their use of petitions, strikes, and protests might seem to frame the legal system as part of a status quo that should be challenged. In Workplace Justice: Rights and Labour Resistance in Vietnam, Tu Phuong Nguyen argues that alongside this model of rightful resistance to the law, an actor-centered, sociolegal approach reveals that legal frameworks interact with everyday norms and practices to shape workers’ subjective notions of rights, justice, and ethics. The result is a nuanced and compelling examination of the conundrums that arise when a communist party that governs in the name of working classes declares the vast majority of laborers’ strikes to be illegal, and when law simultaneously limits and produces quotidian moral economies.

Nguyen conducted semistructured, in-depth interviews with thirty migrant workers in food, garment, and other industries in Đồng Nai,...

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