Dr PUN Ngai, Associate Professor in Social Science, was honored
as the winner of the C. Wright Mills Award at an awards banquet
on 11 August 2006 in Montreal Canada. Her honour was all the
more precious as she became the first Asian winner of this
prestigious award since its establishment in 1964.
award-winning book for 2005 is titled "Made in China: Women
Factory Workers in a Global Workplace." It was judged the best
book by the Awards Committee that exemplifies the following characteristics:
- critically addresses an issue of contemporary
- brings to the topic a fresh, imaginative perspective
- advances social science understanding of the topic
- displays a theoretically informed view and empirical orientation
- evinces quality in style of writing
- explicitly or implicitly contains implications for courses
book has been described as a "passionate, engaged ethnography".
Her approach to scholarship is the antithesis of the detached
Moved by the plight of workers in a tragic factory fire that took
the lives of scores of factory hands, she bravely became one of
the Dagongmei, or female factory workers. For six months, she worked,
ate and slept alongside her co-workers - members of a growing
ignored social underclass.
baptism of fire yielded the most important social study on modern-day
China. Dubbed "the factory of the world", China has become
an economic powerhouse in the process. This first-person study powerfully
tells the tales of those caught up in the trials and tribulations
of factory life in contemporary China.
These are the young women who
power China's economic miracle. They are the workers in this
global factory which until now have been largely unrecognized and
under-appreciated by all those who benefit from their
one of the award criteria states, there is implicit in Dr PUN's
book a call for social action. Her book opens up a world hitherto
unstudied and unnoticed by the world. It becomes the voice of the
voiceless in a teeming global factory that has brought prosperity
to China and affordability to the world.