The Twenty-first Century Silk Road: Chinese-Italian Production of Managerial and Entrepreneurial Labor Power

Lisa Rofel and Sylvia Yanagisako

The manufacturing in China of medium-priced to luxury brand "Made in Italy" fashion involves collaborations between Italian family firms and Chinese entrepreneurial entities entangled with various levels of government. Since 2002, Lisa Rofel and Sylvia Yanagisako have been studying the transnational production of textiles and clothing which links Shanghai and its environs to the Como-Milan area in northern Italy. In this presentation, they focus on the negotiations of value among Italian managers and Chinese entrepreneurs. They trace the ways in which managers' and entrepreneurs' labor power is produced through their efforts to manage the value of the commodities produced and their own occupational and class trajectories.

Lisa Rofel is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Other Modernities: Gendered Yearnings in China after Socialism (University of California Press 1999) and Desiring China: Experiments in Neoliberalism, Sexuality and Public Culture (Duke University Press 2007).

Sylvia Yanagisako is Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University. Her recent books are Producing Culture and Capital: Family Firms in Italy (Princeton University Press 2002) and (with Daniel Segal) Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle: Reflections on the Disciplining of Anthropology (Duke University Press 2005).

Monday, March 08, 2010 | 3:15 pm — 4:30 pm
Building 50 - Room 51A Conference Room, Main Quad

Department of Anthropology