About the BookWelcome to a brave new world of capitalism propelled by high tech, guarded by enterprising authority, and carried forward by millions of laborers being robbed of their souls. Gathered into mammoth factory complexes and terrified into obedience, these workers feed the world's addiction to iPhones and other commodities--a generation of iSlaves trapped in a global economic system that relies upon and studiously ignores their oppression.
Focusing on the alliance between Apple and the notorious Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn, Jack Linchuan Qiu examines how corporations and governments everywhere collude to build systems of domination, exploitation, and alienation. His interviews, news analysis, and first-hand observation show the circumstances faced by Foxconn workers--circumstances with vivid parallels in the Atlantic slave trade. Ironically, the fanatic consumption of digital media also creates compulsive free labor that constitutes a form of bondage for the user. Arguing as a digital abolitionist, Qiu draws inspiration from transborder activist groups and incidents of grassroots resistance to make a passionate plea aimed at uniting--and liberating--the forgotten workers who make our twenty-first-century lives possible.
About the AuthorJack Linchuan Qiu is a professor at the School of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He is the author of Working-Class Network Society: Communication Technology and the Information Have-Less in Urban China.
Reviews"Outstanding and well-researched. . . . Highly recommended."--Choice
"Readers from media and information studies, sociology, history and many other social sciences disciplines will find Goodbye iSlave illuminating." --The China Quarterly
"Networking China is highly recommended for researchers or students in the area of media and communications, economics, political sciences and Chinese studies, as well as practitioners and policy-makers in communication sectors." --Information, Communication & Society
"Qiu's book brings attention to the hidden and deeply exploitative conditions of digital labor that make possible our world of new media and technologies." --PoLAR
"This remarkable dissection of twenty-first century global iSlavery, rooted in Qiu's on-the-ground and comparative historical research, gives a high-voltage jolt to complacent iCitizens--and examples of what to do next."--John D.H. Downing, editor of the Encyclopedia of Social Movement Media
"Qiu's grim and eloquent book traces parallels between the digital economy and Atlantic slavery--from Congo mines to Foxconn sweatshops to iPhone users' labor. Full of insights, Goodbye iSlave also offers hope, in new forms of social struggle."--Raewyn Connell, author of Southern Theory: The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science