How to spot a capitalist collaborator
With the end of the Lunar New Year, people all over China have trudged back to work. Struggling to overcome their so-called “holiday syndrome,” many try to motivate each other by saying: “Soldier on, workers (加油, 打工人 Jiāyóu, dǎgōngrén)!”
打工人 is just the latest trendy, self-deprecating label that young Chinese office workers have assigned themselves, following “996 (jiǔ-jiǔ-liù, working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week),” “corporate livestock (社畜 shèchù),” and “overtime dog (加班狗 jiābāngǒu).” Just like the language of workers’ struggle that formed the basis of the older generation’s political education, these buzzwords indicate young workers’ growing dissatisfaction with excessive stress, unpaid overtime, and other injustices in the workplace.
These memes sometimes even turn into action, with 打工人 exposing mistreatment by employers on social media, or sharing tips for protecting one’s rights and how to take legal action.
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Like a Boss is a story from our issue, “Dawn of the Debt.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.