Hegemonic Transformation by Elaine Sio-Ieng Hui is a much-needed analysis of how Chinese migrant workers’ class consciousness is shaped by the post-Maoist Chinese state’s efforts to reproduce capitalist hegemony in the Pearl River Delta. This book provides a rich account of how this occurs via (1) a refreshingly in-depth theorization of the concept of hegemony, as Antonio Gramsci and contemporary Marxists have developed it, and recent debates on the role of the Chinese state in economic development; and (2) a participant-observation qualitative methodology that encompassed Hui’s own involvement in a Pearl River Delta labor NGO as well as scores of interviews with Chinese migrant workers, labor NGO activists, trade union officials, lawyers, and labor scholars.

Hui argues that the Chinese state has carried out a “top-down passive revolution” that has aided the capitalist class in securing hegemony via both coercion against...

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