Manufacturing compromise: gendered labour processes in a Chinese mine in Papua New Guinea

Crawford School of Public Policy

Event details

PhD Seminar

Date & time

Thursday 23 September 2021


Online via Zoom


I-Chang Kuo

A general perception exists about the Chinese import labour practices and gender ideas carried out at home and that these practices and beliefs conflict with the values harboured by the communities and mineworkers in Papua New Guinea. In this final thesis presentation seminar, I argue that both parties (Chinese and Papua New Guinean mineworkers) learn to compromise and adjust to work together, upholding, in particular, the values and regulations developed during the Australian administration. Additionally, as half subsistence farmers and half workers, Indigenous cultural values continue to affect Papua New Guinean employees’ understandings of work and reshape the Chinese management’s behaviour. Due to the unfamiliarity with local culture and mining regulations, the Chinese term mohe (‘friction and cooperation’) encapsulates the different stages of work relations in this ethnic enclave where the Chinese and Papua New Guinean states are absently present. By conceptualising gender identities as compromising, intercultural work experiences also animate mineworkers’ reconfiguration of masculinities in the Basamuk refinery, Madang province, Papua New Guinea.

I-Chang Kuo is a PhD candidate at the Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University. His research has received recognition by the Taiwanese government through its Taiwan Australian National University Scholarship, the dissertation fellowship at the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation in 2020, and the Taiwanese Overseas Pioneers Grant of 2021. I-Chang has spent 14 months doing fieldwork for this study in Papua New Guinea. He has published on the correlation between changing masculinities and mining environmental impact in an affected village adjacent to the refinery.

Updated:  21 January 2022/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team