The Quotidian Labour of High Tech: Innovation and Ordinary Work in Shenzhen

Stevens, Hallam (2019) The Quotidian Labour of High Tech: Innovation and Ordinary Work in Shenzhen. Science, Technology & Society, 24 (2). pp. 218-236.

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The literature on the production of high-tech electronics in China—following a Silicon Valley model—focuses on either large-scale manufacturing or the role of start-ups and ‘makers’. The aim of this article is to turn to other kinds of spaces and work in the production of high-tech electronics. I focus here on three kinds of spaces in Shenzhen: the Huaqiangbei electronics market, small-scale factories and industrial design workshops. The electronics economy depends critically not just on ‘makers’ but on all kinds of other labour. In particular, it depends on lower middle-class and low-class work—devices made by small factories and shops, sold by small enterprises and designed for the less wealthy, especially in developing countries. The human networks that connect these individuals are critical to the size, speed and density of the markets, allowing devices to be built and shipped rapidly, for parts and customers to be available.

Item ID: 73178
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0973-0796
Keywords: electronics, Huaqiangbei, industrial design, innovation, makerspaces, Shenzhen
Copyright Information: © 2019 The Author/s. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2022 01:44
FoR Codes: 44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441007 Sociology and social studies of science and technology @ 80%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4401 Anthropology > 440107 Social and cultural anthropology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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