Sociologist Tricia Wang reports on a massage worker in Henan, an interview she had while investigating migrant workers and the way they use mobiles, computers and other communication tools. They are fully part of daily life, Tricia Wang describes on her weblog.
Her husband works as a miner in Guizhou, she works as a masseuse in Changsha, Hunan. They see each other 1 time a year and have a 1 and half year old daughter who they have seen once since she was born. Her husband’s mom takes care of her. When they went home during Chinese New Years, her mother-in-law told her daughter to call her, “mommy.” Though, when her baby cried or smiled, she looked to her mother-in-law, and not her or her husband. I asked if this made her feel sad, she said,
“what does it matter? sure I feel sad, but back in our town this is normal. Everyone has their parents raise their baby. We all work in cities far away.”
She uses a feature Nokia phone & only texts on it. She bought a laptop so that she could chat with her husband when he goes to the Internet cafe. She uses wifi from another office downstairs. The massage boss has wifi but put a password on it when he saw workers streaming movies when they were resting. During breaks, everyone does their laptop out and they joke that they could open up an internet cafe. She locks her computer up downstairs when working and sleeps with it next to her in the dorms because things get stolen all the time.