Feb 1 – 7

American Factory - Wikipedia

American Factory

  • The documentary description read: “a culture clash threatens to shatter an American Dream,” and a quote from the movie included “merging American and Chinese cultures.” IndieWire described it “a fascinating tragicomedy about the incompatibility of Chinese and American industries.” I hadn’t thought about how culture clashes occur when a foreign company buys out or intervenes
  • One woman described the difference between the two industry approaches was that one was more concerned with quality and customer satisfaction, while the other prioritized efficiency of production
  • I thought it was pretty interesting that, after the Fuyao group bought the old GM plant, there was a kind of american culture “class” taught for new Chinese workers
  • Also, I haven’t seen much American music that boasts qualities of a company quite the way that the group of young women did at the Fuyao event. “Intelligent and lean manufacturing … Technology is developing rapidly … Employee relations system is amazing … Great at resource integration and market response…” It’s just so different from anything I’ve ever seen for a company, especially one that works in the manufacturing industry. And, a six-couple wedding? That took me off-guard
  • It also took me off-guard to see a man crying tears of joy after that event. That’s not to say that a multicultural event is powerful and moving but I was surprised that the Fuyao Corporation event could bring about such a wholesome moment
  • It was clear to me early on and even more so throughout the documentary that the main problem is just cultural differences. Both “sides” have people that understand that to move forward they need some mutual understanding and communication but both “sides” also have preexisting expectations that simply do not exist on the other. One Chinese man said that Americans are praised a lot from early childhood, so many of them are overconfident, which is true. Americans have a preconceived notion of worth and entitlement. “You have a birthright that is paid for by the sweat and blood of people in this room,” is a quote from the Union meeting. It seems to me that the Chinese people don’t feel they have this “birthright”
  • (During a union information meeting)”… As we show Fuyao that we do things a little bit different in Dayton, Ohio.” That’s exactly the problem; obviously I have the advantage as a third-person onlooker who is completely uninvolved and unaffected, but the cultures are just different. I am not saying that workers don’t deserve fair wages and good working conditions but there’s a disconnect between the cultural understandings of labor and industry and neither side seems to comprehend the necessity for compromise and communication