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        信息作者:  信息日期:2022-07-04 10:43:26

        Statement on the Facts of Decent WorkforDifferent Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang

        Zuliyati Simayi[1],Zhang Yaxi[2],

        Xu Haixia[3],Hu Feifan[4]

        (Xinjiang University Research Base for Fostering a Strong Sense of Community for the Chinese Nation)

        July, 2022



        1.Research Background

        2.Research Contents

        3. Research Methods

        2.Research Findings

        2.1FromSensible toRationalEmotion: The Emotional Rationality of WorkbyAllEthnic Groupsin Xinjiang

        2.1.1Out of Emotional Need to AchieveAutonomy

        2.1.2Out of Emotional Need to Satisfy Competence

        2.1.3Out of Emotional Need to AchieveConnection

        2.2FromExtrinsic toIntrinsicMotivation:The Rationality of Working Motivationsof AllEthnic Groupsin Xinjiang

        2.2.1Extrinsic Motivation:Work toCreateMaterialWealth

        (1)Working for Income


        2.2.2Intrinsic Motivation: Work to Create Spiritual Wealth

        (1)Working for Dream

        (2)Working forHappiness

        2.3From Tradition to Modernity: The Rationalityof the WorkingModesof AllEthnic Groupsin Xinjiang

        2.3.1The Pursuit of Modern Working Modes by Workers from AllEthnic Groups

        2.3.2The Support from Government for the WorkingModes byWorkersfromAllEthnic Groups

        2.4From Objective to Subjective Considerations: The Rationality of the Working Value of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang

        2.4.1Working is an Important Part of Value Creation

        2.4.2Working is an Important Intermediary to Bring Value Concept into Realization

        3. Conclusion

        1 Preface

        1.1Research Background

        Working is the fundamental element in the process ofhuman survival and development, and it is an important way for humanto pursue and achieve all happiness. In order to ensure employment for workers around the world, the International Labor Organization (ILO) has proposed the concept of decent work, with the goal of “increasing opportunities for men and women to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, justice, security and human dignity”. Since then, decent work as a way to guarantee and promote the quality of employment, policy objectives and research perspective has begun to come into the public’s view. From the perspective of the value concept adhered to by decent work, decent work involves respecting workers’ dignity, safeguarding their rights and interests, guaranteeing their income, realizing their self-promotion and so on, which not only conforms to the pursuit of people’s all-round development but also meets the needs of social equity and justice, and which is more in line with the goal of international social security for workers’ rights. In a word, the goal to ensure decent work for workers can not only give workers more fairness, justice and humanistic care, but also help guarantee the workers’ right.

        In recent years, the German Adrian Zenz and the Australian Strategic Policy Institute have written and publicly released several “reports” alleging “forced labor” in Xinjiang.It is no doubt that “forced labor”is a concept completely different from and opposed to “decent work”. “Forced labor”is a severe persecution and disrespect for workers’will and rights. Confronted with the allegation of “forced labor”,the authors, as social science researcherswho havebeen working and living in Xinjiang for a long time,weredetermined to investigate whetherthere is the so-called“forced labor” in Xinjiang.Out of the logical thinking that any scientific research should be based on factual development, the authors formed a research team to conduct the field research on the working conditions of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Through theoretical paradigms, factual cases, and detailed analysis, the research team tries to present the specific working process performed by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        1.2 Research Contents

        The fundamental difference between human action and the movement of objects or animal activity lies in the fact that human action bears certain meaning.What makes the differences between social development and natural change is that it is made up of countless meaningful human actions. The so-called “meaningful” includes both the meaning mankind brought to action and the impact made by action. As far as the meaning that human beings assign to action is concerned, it involves such categories as emotion, cognition, purpose, and intention; as for the impact by action, it includes categories like process, result, value, and function. There is no doubt that working, as a concrete action by human beings, will not only be given a certain subjective meaning by human beings, but will also produce a certain value to human beings and society in both the process and the result of the action.

        Therefore, this report attempts to take the meaning of work performed by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang as the research base, and to focus on the subjective meaning given to work by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, and the value generated by working, so as to achieve a truly comprehensive, in-depth, and systematic understanding of the work performed by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Specifically, this report will integrate the field research data with the working emotion endowed by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the working motivations, the modes, the value brought by working and other related contents as the leading clue of the research. And the report aims to analyze the emotional tracing and psychological motivation behind working, and explore the modes and value of work performed by the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, so as to present a true picture of the so-called “forced labor” rumored in Xinjiang and to have a correct understanding of the allegation----“There is ‘forced labor’ in Xinjiang”.

        1.3 Research Methods

        As for the meaning of working endowed by workers, it cannot be simply understood from the perspective of natural science, but be comprehensively explored with the integration of comprehension. Specifically, there are two ways of “understanding”:the rational way, which is applied mainly to actions whose subjective meaning can be clearly understood in the intellectual way; and the anthropomorphic re-experiencing, which is applied to emotion-related actions that can be fully re-experienced by the one involved. In terms of the depth of understanding, there are two ways of understanding, one is to “directly observe” the subjective meaning shown by the established subject and its actions; the other is to “interpret” the subjective meaning of the action. Regarding the facts of decent workfor people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang discovered in this report, the authors decide to use the above two methods, namely “directly observed understanding” and “interpretive understanding”, to interpret the working of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Based on the interviews with different ethnic workers in Xinjiang, the research team explored their working willingness based on the “emotions” introduced by the interviewed workers; explored their working purposes based on their working“motivations”; explored the specific ways of working based on their working“modes”; and explored the value and significance of working to workers based on their working “impact”. By doing that, the research team aims to have a comprehensive understanding of the reasons and the exact nature of “working” by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Specifically, this research mainly adopted the methods of team discussion, in-depth interview, participatory observation, questionnaire and so on, and carried out in-depth communication with the relevant leaders and staff working at the labor and employment administrative departments in 14 counties and cities of Xinjiang, as well as the workers of Han, Uygur, Kazak, Hui, Xibo, Dongxiang, Daur, Russian and other ethnic groups, so as to show the real situation of the workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang with the simplest, most authentic and most direct first-hand research materials. Among them, the interviews interviewed a total of more than 100 people to systematically elaborate on the true working process of all ethnic workers in Xinjiang from the comprehensive perspectives including the workers’ working emotions, the workingmotivations, the working modes and the working value.

        Figure 1: Research Report Structure

        2 Research Findings

        2.1From Sensible to RationalEmotion: The Emotional Rationality of the WorkbyAllEthnic Groupsin Xinjiang

        Working is a free andconscious activity ofhuman beings, a unity of subjectivity and objectivity.As the subject of work,people have rich and real emotions, and for this reason, workers always need to engage in productive labor in certain emotional states. As Engels said,“In the sphere of social history, all activities are carried out by people who are conscious, who think or act on their passions, who pursue a certain purpose; nothing happens without conscious intention, without an intendedpurpose.”[5]It is evident that people’s work is necessarily rich in emotional factors. The authorsdrewaword cloud by mapping the keywords of the interview transcripts formed during the research process, asisshown in Figure 2.From the map we can seethat“love”,“happiness”,“independence”,“respect”,“ability”,“cooperation”and“unity”are the common aspirationsof workers from allethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Figure 2: Voices of workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang drawn through interview recordings

        During the research, the authors realized that workers ofall ethnic groups in Xinjianghave enhanced their friendship and affections so as to form a good interpersonal relationship through working; improved their abilities so as to gain widespread respect and improve their family and social status through working; unleashed their full potential and gained self-identity through working.Based on the aboveinterviews, from the perspective of Self-Determination Theory (SDT), the authorssummarize the emotional factors towards working as autonomy, competenceandconnection.

        2.1.1 Out ofEmotionalNeed toAchieveAutonomy

        Autonomy is the need for people to realize their potential, express their talents and achieve self-identity.In terms of working, it can promote people’s all-round development.

        During the interview, the authorsfound some interviewees said that theyhad not realized the importance of learning and not got their competence enhanced since they had not cherished the schooling opportunities, thusfailing to find the job they desired most. But through working, they wereoffered opportunities and platforms to improve themselves. For this reason, more and more workers will take the initiative to learn relevant knowledge and be trained relevant skills during their spare time in the working process for more qualifications so as to gain themselves a better future. A Uygur interviewee told the authorsthat he cherished the opportunity to learn. Usually, the village starts night school for farmers and herdsmen during the slack season. The night school offers a wide range of classes, including popularization of lawand otherknowledgesas well astechnical training. He always grasped the opportunities and actively participated in the class. His words showedthe authorshis great enthusiasm for learning. He said:“I am a farmer. the income of the family mainly comes from thefarmland. We utterly rely on the nature to make a living.So whenever the county organizes villagers to make a study tour, I always joined. The experts delivered terrific lectures for us. I know that scientific farming and breeding is a reliably convenient way to helpusincreaseourincome.”

        IntervieweeNo.1(afarmerinKarakax County, Hotan Prefecture):“When I was a student, I onlyfinished myjunior high schooleducation.I now realized that education is quite important, so I started self-learningin theworking process. And if we want tosucceed in finding a job in other places, wehave to havemore qualifications. So I have been keeping learning and hopefully what I have learned will help me one day when I work.”

        IntervieweeNo.2(adecoration worker in KashgarCity, Kashgar Prefecture):“I feel that I am still young and have a long way to go in technology proficiency, so I keep trying to improve my skills.At the same time, I also pay attention to law. That legal knowledge will help sincemy work involves employment contract issues.In addition, I am very active in learning standard Chinese. All of these are important. I need to study. I will be more actively involved in learning skills, laws and standard Chinese.

        Figure 3: Workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang get learned in their free time

        At the same time, in the process ofinterviews, the authorsfully appreciated that workers ofdifferentethnic groups regardworkingastheiremotional needsto improve their own abilities, creativity, and thus to work happily and gain a sense of self-identity from work. Some workers said that itwasthrough work that they found their true selves when they were confused about theirfuture.

        IntervieweeNo.3(anintern of ** Village Committee of Karakax County, Hotan Prefecture):“I am still a student and will graduate in July.I used to be very confused about the future, and sometimes even self-denial.But once I got into my internship, I started to appreciate myself. I found that I was able to solve the difficulties I met at work.I’m very satisfied with the job now because it can fully unleash my own potential, very satisfying.”

        IntervieweeNo.4(a safflower grower in Yumin County,Tarbagatay Prefecture):“I failed my college entrance examination when I was young, and ever since then I have been farming land at home.In the traditional view, if one fails to receive desirable education, he fails to have a bright future. But look at me.I’m doing very well through working. Now I grow safflower. Safflower prices are high these years. I can earn about 200,000 yuan a year.I am satisfied with myself now.”

        Only when one’s potential is fully realized will one feel the greatest satisfaction. In modern society, the change of social structure results in the crisis of self-identity.Self-identity crisis is “the fundamental dilemma of modernity”.[6]Working, however, provides people with the opportunity to achieve autonomy.Practice has proven that in theworkingprocess, the workers of all ethnicgroups in Xinjiang have improved their ability,shapedtheirphysical fitness,matured their mentality and realized self-achievement, thus meeting the emotional needs forautonomy.

        2.1.2 Out ofEmotionalNeed toSatisfy Competence

        Competence is the feeling that one is respected and recognized in the interaction between the individual and the social environment.Working isthemost honorable, and the increased income generated through working often improves the workers’ status in the family and society.

        At present, working is of great significance for improvingwomen’s status andgaining morerespect for them. Before the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the society was mostly based on the division ofworkingmode“The man goes out to work while the woman looks after the house”. However, with the development of economy and society, the progress of civilization, and the improvement of people’s awareness, women also began to getout of the house to pursue their value through working, and highlight their status inthesociety. During theresearch,the authorsfound thatby workingthe womenof all ethnic groupsin Xinjiang have increased their income, improved their status in the family and society, and gained more respect.

        IntervieweeNo.5(a computer professional in TachengCity, Tarbagatay Prefecture):“Now in families, both men and women go outforwork.My parents help us take care of our children as support for us to go to work.We alsohopethat our children can have a better life than us.From this perspective, men and women are equal.We all go to work. We share the responsibility for taking care of children, doing housework and other family stuff.Women are greatly respected at work. Women deserve both work and rest.Men are willing to help women.”

        IntervieweeNo.6(theHead of**TowninYumin County, TarbagatayPrefecture):“Women have a high desire for employment, especially young women. In the past two years, it was especially obvious that none of us in the villagewas jobless, including those interviewed today.All the men and the women were employed except the old, the sick and the disabled.From this perspective, our economic and social status has been greatly improved.When you have a higher social status, you will be respected.”

        Figure 4: Women of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang gathered to learn embroidery

        Figure 5: Women of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang learned flower arranging techniques together

        According to the process of human psychological development, positive mental states will produce a reflexive promotion of the practice that helps prompt the formation of such psychological states.In short, working helps human get psychological satisfaction. In turn, this positive mental stateprovides with more energy, thus keeping one motivated in one’swork.It is the respectthatworkers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang gained in work that motivates them to work actively.

        2.1.3 Out ofEmotionalNeed toAchieveConnection

        Connectionrefers to an individual’s desire to be recognized and accepted by family, friends, partners,teams, organizations and society, and it includes the need forconnectionwithfamily, friendship, love and so on. In these relationships, affection for the children proves to be the mainstream.Childrenare parents’future and hope who expect theirchildren to be outstanding.Through communication with the interviewees, the authorsfound that workers of differentethnic groups not only realizedtheir dreams and value through working, but also hadhigher expectations for their children.The interviewees all expressed their hope that through their hard work, their children would receive a better education and thus have a brighter future.

        Among them, the most impressive to the authorsis Wu Xiufang in Chabuchar Xibe Autonomous County,Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, a national model of ethnic unity. Wu Xiufang is a“loving mother”. She has been struggling to raise her two children after the death of her first husband. Later, she met her current husband, Cui Guoxin, started a new family and kept taking care fortheirchildren at the same time.In addition, Wu Xiufang and her husband have been supporting poor children to study and have helped 21 poor children to go to school so far with their own income.

        As a mother, she worked hard to raisetheirchildren and helped 21 poor children to go to school.In order to earn enough money, she and her husband have to work hard every day. She told the authors that, “As long as I can still work, I want to earn more money to help the children to study and go to college.”When she was asked whether she felt hard, she said,“It’s not hard, it’s not hard at all. Because today’s happy life is not easy to be gained, we all cherish it.My husband and I are old now,as long aswe live, we will keep working.”Wu Xiufang is commonamong typical Chineseparents, who try hard to create a better future for their children through working.

        Figure 6: Xinjiang Uygur Children’s Sweet Smile

        IntervieweeNo.7(anemployee ofa realestatedevelopmentcompany in Tajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan,KashgarPrefecture):“I’ve always wanted to work in a big city so that my children could have a chance to study there.I hope my children can go to the universities inother provinces in China, such as the universities in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin. The Colleges in Urumqi are also great choices. These cities are very good.I think that if my children go to a bigger city, they can broaden their horizons and get a brighter future.”

        IntervieweeNo.8(a supermarket employee in Huocheng County, Ili Kazak Autonomous Prefecture):“As a mother, I work for myself and my children.I want to do what I like, and challenge myself. Even when I fail in something challenging, I at least is motivated to keep learning and improve myself.Many people work for their family and children now, for the sake of their families and their children. With the policy supported, my husband canalso earn money.Ourcountry has also changed a lotwith more better policies.”

        The nature ofhuman beingsis the sum of social relations, for whichconnectionis the core need ofhuman beings. People exchange ideas and share feelings in cooperation, which promotes mutual understanding and care.The emotions endowed by workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang are fully achieved in working, thus laying an emotional foundation for workers of allethnic groups to love workingand work voluntarilyso as torealize the transition from sensibility to rationality.

        2.2 From Extrinsic to Intrinsic MotivationThe Rationality of WorkingMotivationsof AllEthnic Groups in Xinjiang

        From the perspective of dialectical materialism, matter determines consciousness, and consciousness has a certain reaction to matter. Any specific human action is not only driven by consciousness, but is also guided by rational consciousness.In the Theory of Reasoned Action, human social behavior is guided by rational consciousness in order to achieve their own rational purposes. Therefore, human beings always carry out activities according to their own purposes, which is the developmentaldirection of human social action and the essential feature of human development in modern society.Through the research, the authorsfound that people of allethnic groups in Xinjiang have their own purposes for working, either to create material wealth or gain spiritual wealth through working. No matter which one it is they are all driven by the rational purposes to perform specific actions. Also, the authorsfound that theirworkingpurposeshavetransformed from extrinsic to intrinsic motivations.To realize this transformation, psychological needs are required, e.g., autonomy, competence and connection.The above discussion of the rationality of work motivations of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang shows that the internalization condition has been sufficiently satisfied, and the workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have then realized the transformation of working purposes from extrinsic to intrinsic one and from non-self-determinedto self-determined behavior(see Figure 7).

        Figure 7: Decision-making process of voluntary working by workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang

        2.2.1Extrinsic Motivation:Work toCreateMaterialWealth

        Extrinsic motivation refers to the activities that are performed in order to get certain reward and accomplish a certain purpose.In the beginning, workers of allethnic groupswork mainly by extrinsic motivations,which is to create material wealth. Working forIncome

        Income is one of the most important guarantees for workers of allethnic groups.The increase in income will both secure their basic livelihood and promote a sense of security and gain.During the research, the authorsfound that workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang always hope to obtain more satisfactory income through their working.In theinterviews, one interviewee added contacts in WeChat, a social media platform, with the authorsafter the interview.Recently, she posted a photo of herself learning textile technology in a textile factory on WeChat and captioned it“Follow national policiesandlearn professional knowledgetoearn more money.” It is evident that workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are working hard forhigher income.

        Figure 8: Interviewees’ aspiration for more income on the social media platform

        IntervieweeNo.9(asecurity guardinQira County, Hotan Prefecture): “My family used to be poor. My first child was adopted by my brother because I couldn’t afford him.But when the security guard team advertised their job vacancy, I applied for the job and became a security guard with a monthly salary of several thousand yuan. Sometimes I still work to earn some extra money, and now I am not poor any more. I want to make more money so that I can raise my own children.”

        Interviewee No.10(aconstruction worker in Yutian County, Hotan Prefecture):“The reasonwhyI’m a construction worker is because the pay is better, the working hours are more flexible, and I have more time to take care of my household stuff. I’ve been doing this job for more than 10 years. I am very satisfied with my salary. I remember that in 2008, it wasbetween1,500 yuanand2,000 yuan a month. Now it has reached 5,000 yuan.”

        Income is the basis of survival and people’s livelihood.Through the research, the authorslearned that workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang now rely on their hard work and ingenuity to achieve higher income.Workers of all ethnic groups inXinjiang have proven that“working hard willbringa brighter future.”The basic living needs of workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang are met through working, which lays the foundation for the transformation of working motivation from extrinsic to intrinsicone. Working forGuarantee

        With the overall improvement of the quality of workers, in addition to obtaining basic income,theyare increasingly aware of the protection of their own rights and interests.During the interviews, through in-depth communication with workers of different ethnic groups, the authors deeply felt that the reason why workers of all ethnic groups choose to work is to obtain a more reliable guarantee.Many interviewees said they believedthat employment couldincrease their inner sense ofguarantee. For them, a stable job means not only income and wealth, but also a stable and decent life.

        IntervieweeNo.11 (a textile factory worker in YiningCity, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“My grandma was in poor health before, and only my brother was employed, so there was some financial pressure at home. In order to relieve my brother’s burden, I started to work after I graduated. I think it is very important for me to have a stable job, because then I can not only support myself, but also take care of my grandmother. This willbothreduce my family’s financial pressureandhelp with a more secured life.”

        IntervieweeNo.12 (a taxi driver in HotanCity, HotanPrefecture):“Work for me means the security and support for my family. I want to get a stable salary every month, not too much, just to be able to support my family. I believe stability is the best. So for me, the money that I can get from my work every month is a goodguarantee.”

        At present,“more reliableguarantee”and“full protection of their rights and interests”are the strong appeal of the people of allethnic groups in Xinjiang for a better life. It has been proven that people of allethnic groups in Xinjiang have made their lives materially moreguaranteedwhich helped them out of financial worries. Thus, the workingmotivation for the workers has begun to transform into the intrinsic motivation of pursuing spiritual wealth.

        2.2.2 Intrinsic Motivation:Work toCreateSpiritualWealth

        Intrinsic motivation refers to that the engagement in a behavior arises from the behavior itself not for earning external rewards. It can be seen that behavior driven by intrinsic motivation is self-determined behavior, which is entirely out of the individual’s will and is decided by the individual freely and voluntarily. In terms of working, workers ofall ethnic groups in Xinjiang work to create spiritual wealth. Working forDream

        As the saying goes, working makes dreams come true. If you want to realize your dream, you have to put it into practice, that is to work. Workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjianghave dreams and have courage to work hard.During theresearch,the authorswitnessed workersof all ethnic groupsin Xinjiang workto obtain theworkingfruitsand realize their dreams.

        Figure 9:“We are all dreamers”written by a Xinjiang local in standard Chinese

        During theinterviews, the authorsfound that more and more workers began to seek opportunities in the process of working to start their own business and commit to careersof their own and trytheir best to realize their dreams all by themselves. For example, intervieweeNo.13, who started his own business in 2013, shared the authorshis entrepreneurial experience.

        IntervieweeNo.13 (ahotelownerinTacheng City,TarbagatayPrefecture):“I opened my first hotel in 2013, when Tacheng City started to promote the Mountain Flower Festival, which attracted visitors from all over the country. Therefore, my business was prosperous, which accumulated funds for more hotels later. Now I have opened 21 hotels in differentplacesin Xinjiang, such as Tacheng City, YuminCounty, KaramayCity, AltayPrefecture, KuitunCountyand HamiCity.And I have a lot of employees now. All in all, I feel that by starting my own business I have not only realized my dream, but also brought opportunities and happiness to myself and more people.”

        During the interview, intervieweeNo.13 kept answering calls in. He said it was the peak tourist season and the hotels were busier. In order not to delay his work, we ended the interview with him. During the interview with other interviewees,the authorsfelt that workers of differentethnic groupsin Xinjiang are now relying on their hard workingandingenuity to realize their dreams through working.

        IntervieweeNo.14 (a hotel owner in Yining County,IliKazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“My dream since I was a child was to be a boss. In the past few years, the booming tourism industry in Xinjiang brought us more opportunities,so I started to engage in tourism inIli Kazak Autonomous Prefecture. I opened my own hotel, and finally became a boss. In the peak season, our hotel is full every day, and the gross profit can reach more than 40,000 yuan a day. Now the hotel has more than 30 employees. The business is quite prosperous. Now I have achieved my dream.”

        IntervieweeNo.15 (an owner of textile factory in Wensu County, AksuPrefecture):“Ihave beenalways dreamingthat I could invite more women to work with me, because some divorced women nowadays don’t have jobs and they have no income. I wish I can help them to increase their self-confidence, self-consciousness, and faith by bringingthem together to work. So I opened a factory to bring more women to work together.”

        Figure 10: Various school uniforms made by the textile factory

        During theinterviews, the authorsfelt that workers of allethnic groups had dreams and had courage to work hard. It isthrough unremitting struggle and hard work that they have realized their dreams. As most of the workers interviewed said,“I work for my bigger dream!” Working forHappiness

        Gorky once said,“Working is the source of all joy and all good things in the world.” Marx also pointed out that“productive labor gives everyonetheopportunity to fully develop themselves and show all of his or her abilities, i.e., physical and mental, so that productive labor ceases to be a means of slavery and, therefore, turns from burden into a joy.”It is evident that working creates happiness and joy. Thus, working has been internalized into the inner satisfaction and happiness of the workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Figure 11: A photo of the researchteamat the entrance of Qianjin Village, Yumin County, TarbagatayPrefecture, Xinjiang

        As the plaque at the entrance of the village says,“Happiness is the result of hard work.”

        During theinterviews,the researchteam communicated with Xiao Zuo (a pseudonym) in Karakax County, HotanPrefecture,and learned how she achieved happiness through working. Xiao Zuo’s family was previously a registered poorhousehold. Due to her poor education andout-of-datedthinking, her family with 5 members only relied onthe farmlandto maintain a basic life. Therefore, she lived a hard life.

        In order to live a better life, she decided to go to work. By picking up cotton, Xiao Zuo and her husband earned 12,000 yuan during the two-month part-time work. In addition, the couple also engaged in construction work in the village all year round which helped their annual income with extra 60,000 yuan, enabling them to live a well-off life. Xiao Zuo believes that“a good life cannot depend on waiting, but on hard work. As long as you are willing to work, you can achieve happiness.”It can be seen that it is through working that workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiangcanincrease their income

        and achieve happiness in life.

        IntervieweeNo.16 (a junior high school Chinese teacher in KashgarCity, KashgarPrefecture): “Our lives have changed a lot now. All kinds of changes have taken place, and life is so much better than it used to be. Now, I bought a house and a car, and I have more than 100,000 yuan in savings. And now the living standard has improved a lot, the food is nutritious, not only can Ihave food to eat,but also can eat well for good health.The living environment is also changing. It is better than before. People used to live in bungalow, now they live in the building. How could I feel unhappy facing such wonderful changes?”

        IntervieweeNo.17 (an owner of a jade store in HotanCity, Hotan Prefecture): “I used to be the only one whowas employedin my family, and my wife was jobless. But now my wife has a job, and the financial pressure at home is much released. My children now go to school in northern Xinjiang. In the past we didn’t have money to go to school, but now it is much better. And we have a beautiful yard now. We remodeled the yard. We feel that our lives have changed a lot, and we feel very happy now.”

        Needless to say, working is the most fundamental element in the process of human survival and development, and it is an important way for human beings to pursue and achieve all their happiness. At present, workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang have voluntarily worked out of the love towards working. Having achieved a great transformation from having food to eat to eating well for good health, from having clothing to wear to dressing fashionably, from having a house to live to living comfortably. And people’s living standards have improved significantly and their sense of happiness has greatly increased. To sum up, the purpose of working by the workers of allethnic groups in Xinjiang has gradually changed from extrinsic income andguaranteeto their own life dreams and happiness, which directly manifeststhat they accept working, love working and voluntary to work from the bottom of their hearts.

        2.3 From Tradition to Modernity: The Rationality of Working

        Modesof AllEthnic Groups in Xinjiang

        The change of working modes is an important manifestation of a civilized and developed society. In this research, the authorslearned that the modernworking modesarenot only loved and pursued by workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang, andarealso supported by the government.

        2.3.1ThePursuit ofModernWorkingModes byWorkers fromAllEthnic Groups

        The traditional working mode refers to that all family members on the basis of family unit do not leave family production, and mainly develop the primary industry which mainly includes small-scale agriculture, animal husbandry and so on, and is assisted with temporary job as supplement. With the development of economy and society, the progress of science and technology, and people’s diverse needs for interpersonal communication and their desire for a better life, modern working modes such as different forms of flexible employment, including starting businesses of one’s own and finding jobs independently have become the mainstream choice of contemporary people’s employment.

        “Never leave the farmland, never leave the village”was once the true picture of the working modes in rural areas of China. Duringthe research, the authors learned that traditional working modewasthe primary choice for production of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.However, the economic and social development of Xinjiang has brought more opportunities. More and more peopleof all ethnic groups in Xinjiangare willing to choose modern modes to work, such as flexible employment, starting their own business and so on.

        IntervieweeNo.18 (a labor broker inanIndustrial ParkinYiningCity,Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“I just stayed in the village, tilled thefarmland, fed the livestock and did part-time work for the village supermarket. Ijust wanted to make some money which was enough for living. But now my pursuit is different. I want to gain myself more opportunities to earn more money, and I also want to see the world, to be exposed to new things and to enrich myself.”

        IntervieweeNo.19 (an employee of a garment company in Yining City, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“I tilled thefarmland in the past, but a lot of workers talked abouttheir workwhen they returned home. Then I wasencouraged. So I followed them. So far I have been working in a factory that mainlymakesschool bags for students inother provinces inChina for many years.”

        IntervieweeNo.20 (an individual herder in Yutian County,HotanPrefecture):“I raised sheep at home before, but now I can leave my sheep in the local cooperative and let others help feedthe sheep. Then I can spare my own time to start my own business for more money. Now I want to go toother provinces inChinaand start a mutton barbecue stall. I have been toother provinces inChinaseveral times before. I felt very good and now I want to go there again. On the one hand, I want to enjoy the grand landscape of our country, and on the other hand, I also want to let everyone taste ourXinjiang cuisine.”

        At the same time, with the economic and technological development, it has become an inevitable choice for the primary industry in Xinjiang to rely mainly on mechanized equipment. Against that background, workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang not only do not have to worry about the yield of planting and breeding, but also can choose flexible employment or start their own business. By doing this, their diverse needs of employment are met and their aspirations for a better life are achieved.

        Interviewee No.21 (the village’s Communist Party leader in Huocheng County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “There are 2000.8905 acres(12146 mu)of arable land in the village. The villagers are now signing contracts with local vegetable companies to set up cooperatives, mainly planting qamgur, cucumbers, and onions and so on. There are also some cooperatives that have planted 159.7945 acres(970 mu)of apricots and pears, and at the same time develop animal husbandry. Some Uygur villagers are interested in stockbreeding. Therefore, there is also a livestock shelter in the village. We built it for stockbreeding. It is clean and hygienic. And it is easy to expand the scale, and it is more convenient to be mechanized for production and stockbreeding. In this way, villagers can either work in the cooperative or in other places.”

        At present, Xinjiang focuses on promoting the supply-side structural reform and insists on improvingthe primary industry, focusing on the secondary industry and developing the tertiary industry. It has cultivated and expanded a number of advantageous characteristic industries and labor-intensive industries. More and more working people of all ethnic groups are gradually flowing to the tertiary industry in an orderly manner, upgrading the industrial structure in Xinjiang. The proportion of employees in the primary, secondary and tertiary industries is shown as follows: in 2014, the proportion was 45.4:16.0:38.6 respectively, and in 2020, it was 33.9:14.1:52.0. Among them, the proportion of employees in the tertiary industry increased by 13.4 percentage points. The industry with the most employment fully meets the needs of different people for flexible employment.

        Figure 12: Distribution of employment numbers and employment shares in different

        industries in Xinjiang (all data from Xinjiang Statistical Yearbook 2021)

        In fact, from the perspective of the Push and Pull Theory, more and more people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang prefer to choose their own jobs and start their own businesses, which goes with the social development and the current tendency of the times. It has been proven that the changes in the working modes of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are not only due to the mechanization, which frees them from farmland and offers them more opportunities for employment and their own business, but also due to more opportunities and choices and wider interpersonal interactions provided by the modern working modes, which aim to promotes people to choose to work and start their own businessautonomously and voluntarily.

        Figure 13: The “Push and Pull” process of the transformation of working modes of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Based on the above analysis, it is certain that the transformation of the working modes is reasonable. Because it is an independent, voluntary and free choice made by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who follow the trend of modernization to pursue a better life.

        2.3.2The Support fromGovernment for theWorkingModesofWorkersfrom AllEthnic Groups

        Modernization has become a trendof economic and social transformation and a sign of progress of human civilization in a global scale. And the modernization of the working modes is necessary for the development and progress of individuals, society and the whole country. As has been mentioned above, workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have already possessed the characteristics in the modern world, such as “willing to accept new life experiences, new ideologies and new ways of thinking, and bold to accept social reforms and changes”[7], and their working modes are also undergoing the transformation from traditional one to modern one. However, this process is inevitably influenced by some practical factors.

        Interviewee No.22 (a lorry driver in Yining County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “Now I am working in transportation system near my home. In fact, I really want to work with my friends for long-distance transportation so that I can earn more money. But I am in poor health. I have pneumonia. And I need to send and pick up my children every day, because my wife is busy.”

        Interviewee No.23 (a clerk in a clothing store in Yining County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “If we choose to work in the factory park, no one will look after the elderly at home. My parents are old and I am worried if my mother is sick at home, no one will be available for taking care of her.”

        The interviews with people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang showed whenever they are faced with problems in working, the government always ranks the top in their list for support and help, and the government is the reliable guarantee for their decent work. First of all, the government has been keeping broadening the employment channels so that people of all ethnic groups can have more, better and finer employment options and opportunities.

        Interviewee No.24 (a staff of the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in Yining City, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “This year, we have created more than 700 jobs for people of different ethnic groups who are in need of employment in Yining. For example, we helped the ones who wanted to work near their home. Then we tried to negotiate with the relevant departments and helped them find a job nearby. And others wanted to open restaurants, small shops and barber shops, we also helped them. Also, many people told us that they wanted to go to Urumqi or other provinces and cities in China for employment, we will also try our best to help them.”

        Interviewee No.25 (a staff of the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in Yining County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “We have employment channels and employees in Kuitun County and Urumqi City. And we have been releasing job vacancy through various methods and platforms. When some people see it, they will sign up voluntarily if they are interested in. Then we will negotiate with the company to help them. Now some of them get the salary of 10,000 yuan, and some starts with 8,000 or 9,000 yuan per month.”

        Second, many places in Xinjiang have implemented policies and measures to support entrepreneurship and flexible employment. Anyone who is willing to start a business can obtain support from the local government in terms of business guidance, policy services, and financial support.

        Interviewee No.26 (a staff of Human Resources Bureau in Tacheng City, Tarbagatay Prefecture): “In supporting entrepreneurship, we have specifically established a business incubation base. As long as there are suitable projects, the government will spend money in finding professionals for professional support, and all services are free for the those in need. At the same time, start-up loans are also available. If there is an entity, for example store opening, as long as it is registered in the Market Supervision Bureau, the applicant will be able to get a start-up loan of 200,000 yuan. As long as applying in the name of company, anyone who is interested can get appropriated assistance according to one’s business assets.”

        Interviewee No.27 (the boss of auto service company in Huocheng County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “I started a company providing auto service, with a relatively large investment. I have benefited from loan policies here before, with a total of more than 200,000 yuan, and this is my third loan. Because the local government encourages us to start our own business and gives me a lot of support, I am very grateful. After getting so much help, I myself also want to make a good contribution to society and help more people.”

        Third, in both the southern and the northern Xinjiang, the local governments offer various types of free skill training, entrepreneurship training and employment training courses to meet the needs of workers of all ethnic groups, so as to help them realize their pursuit for better skills, greater competence and more knowledge and so on.

        Interviewee No.28 (a staff of the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau in Yumin County, Tarbagatay Prefecture): “Our training for upgrading workers’ skills started in winter, and the training hours were very flexible. We provided the training based on their schedules. Everyone who signed up told us when they were available, and then those with similar timetable could come to study together. Because there were many people who desired to get trained and whose schedules however were not same, different sessions of each course were set for them to choose. In this way the training session would not conflict with their working hours. Our training courses included welding, catering, auto repair and decoration and so on. This year we are going to hold more training courses of the kind and re-integrate the needs of people, and further broaden the training scope so as to make it more effective and flexible.”

        Interviewee No.29 (a carpenter inTajik Autonomous County of Taxkorgan, Kashgar Prefecture): “I am a furniture maker, andWe furniture-makers, without any skills at the beginning, need to learn from people in this line of work.Later, I heard in the village that the government offered us various free training courses, so I signed up and came to study. I learned a lot in the course, which was basically a learning-by-doing course, so I didn’t need to spend more extra time practicing. Now, I rely on what I have learned to make money. No matter where I work, as long as I take out the certificate, I can prove my carpentry.”

        The authors learned that in order to ensure the courses are available to all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who are willing to attend the training, thetraining is particularly set in the evening or over weekends, and most of the training is held in winter. It is midsummer now, therefore, less training is organized. In such case, the authors were only able to interview those who had taken courses before for more information. One of the working staff managed to communicate with a previoustrainee of Uygur ethnic group and told her about us. She agreed to phone with the authors. The authors made an appointment for an interview in the afternoon. When seeing her, the authors could tell she was a confident Uygur woman. She told the authors “I think it is very useful to learn more skills and knowledge. People need to keep improving themselves. At that time, many people in the village took the initiative to sign up for training, and I was one of them. As I learned more and more skills, I slowly learned how to sell products on WeChat. Now I can make money at home! I feel good about the flexible working hours. And the consumers can place orders when I am talking with you.”

        The authors could feel her joy and satisfaction when talking with her. Then the authors got her WeChat number after finishing the interview. The authors always give her a like whenever seeing that she updates products information on the WeChat.

        Figure 14: Screenshot of one of the interviewees who updates products information on WeChat.

        Fourth, in order to help people who are willing to work in other places out of their worries, the government have been trying to solve various problems for them.

        Figure 15: The leisure time of the elderly

        Interviewee No.30 (a staff of the Human Resources and Social Security Bureau inQapqal Xibe Autonomous County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture): “In order to remove workers’ worry about their families when going to work, we have issued a policy named Four Cares. The first is to care for the elderly. The local Civil Affairs Bureau has established a nursing home called Xingfudayuan (Happy Home) to guarantee the life of the elderly. The elderly whose children go to work can live there where full-time workers take care of them. The second is to care for children. Here comes the problem about who will take care of the children when their parents work in other places. To solve this problem, the local Education Bureau issued some policies and established the Aixinjiayuan (Love Home), where those children are picked up and sent from and to school every day and full-time teachers are employed to take care of them. The third is to care for farmland. To avoid the farmland being wasted when workers go to work, the local Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Affairs issued some relevant policies. Through land transference, the farmland is handed over to the agricultural and animal husbandry company for unified management, and the government will connect with the land contractor to ensure that the farmers can receive a share of the land revenue. The fourth is to care for the livestock. Many workers worry about their cattle at home when they go to work. Therefore, the Animal Husbandry Bureau has also issued some policies, such as arranging for the livestock of several households to be raised together. Then the Animal Husbandry Bureau has also issued corresponding policies, such as raising the livestock of several households together.”In other words, if you entrust your livestock to someone else, you make up the money for raising one cow or one sheep, and someone else comes to help raise them in a uniform manner. By taking this policy of Four Cares, we solved some worries of many workers.

        Figure 16: Livestock of several households are raised together

        All the facts show that the government has implemented corresponding policies and measures to help the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang adapt to the modernized working modes. These policies and measures are designed to help the workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang improve their living conditions, guarantee decent work for them, and support them to pursue a better life.

        2.4 From Objective to Subjective Considerations: The Rationality of the Working Value of All Ethnic Groups in Xinjiang

        Working is an important process for human beings to realize Gemeinwesen, or the essence of human being, and is the most basic element to promote social development.In the working process, the subject acts on the object with working practice, and the object feeds back to the subject with the working value.For workers, the working value is not only reflected objectively in the products and services it creates, but also lies in the fact that workers’ general need is met and their pursuits of subjective value are fully satisfied. Undoubtedly, the individual activities that both help with objective creation and subjective needs are meaningful and valuable.

        2.4.1 Working is an Important Part of Value Creation

        All the great ideas including “labor can create value” put forward by William Petty, “labor theory of value” by Adam Smith, and Marx’s Labor Theory of Value formed after the critical inheritance of the classical economic theory of labor value, verify an objective fact, that is, labor itself is an important part of value creation──creating new things, creating products, and creating value.

        While it is perfectly logical to analyze the value of labor to the workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang from the perspective of value quantity, it is difficult to make an accurate measurement of the specific value quantity created by workers in practice. Therefore, the authors try to analyze the value of labor for the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang from the perspective of workers’ income and living standards. It is not only because that products,services, and incomes correspond to the workers' value creation and these“objectified”working values are objectively visible, but also the changes in personal income and family life can directly reflect the process of value creation by the workers.

        IntervieweeNo.31 (awall painter in HotanCity, Hotan Prefecture):“I used tobe an employee inalocalcar wash, but I had to leave because of my arthritis. Since I quitted, I had no income. I was poor at that time. Later, I was introduced to my current company. Now I earn 3,000 yuan a month, and my husband works in the nearby industrial park, earning about 2,000 yuan a month. The two of us together can earn 5,000 yuan per month, and we have 3,000 yuan saved at the end of each month. Then I redecorated our house, and now the house is well-furnished. I work hard, so my life is good.”

        IntervieweeNo.32 (the team leader of ** Villagein QiraCounty, Hotan Prefecture):“My son found a job byhimself. He went to Shanxi province and has been there for more than 3 years. He earns several thousand yuan every month. Manypeople in our village havefound jobs by themselvesin places like UrumqiCity, AksuPrefectureand AltayPrefecture.When we work, we canearn more money. Therefore, their living standardshave been greatly improved.”

        IntervieweeNo.33(a staff of the ** community in Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture):“My income has improved significantly in the past few years.Now I work in a local community in Hotan County. I’m not fully occupied by work.I cantake care ofhousehold stuffduring leisure time after work. And my salary is also high,more than two thousandyuan per month.”

        IntervieweeNo.34 (a farmer and herdsman in Yumin County,TarbagatayPrefecture):“I think all people are equal in working.Yes,I am an ordinary person. My jobis to cultivatefarmland and breed livestock. As for civil servants, their work is to provide services to people. Theyall arepart of us.Therefore,theysincerelyhelp us to be more productive. We all work hard, and our life is getting better. I believe that is the workingvalue.”

        Figure 17: Workers hold a harvest festival

        It is proven that the income of people of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang grows steadily. According to statistics, the per capita disposable income of urban residents in Xinjiang increased from 23,214 yuan in 2014 to 37,642 yuan in 2021; the per capita disposable income of rural residents in Xinjiang increased from 8,724 yuan to 15,575 yuan.[8],[9]

        It can be seen that the people of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang have worked to get better life, and their income has increased steadily. They have a freer, more decent and better life, and their working valuehas been further highlighted in the work.

        2.4.2 Working is an Important Intermediary to Bring Concept of Value into Realization

        The essence of value is a relational category, that is the degree to which the object satisfies the needs of the subject. Individuals influenced by different regions, cultures and classes will differ in their concepts and pursuits of values. Therefore, the value of the object to the subject will inevitably be affected by the subjective individual. For example, some people prefer to regard individual income as the criterion of self-worth realization, while others take harmony and stability of the family as their pursuits. Therefore, theSchwartz Theory of Basic Values summarizes 10 basic individual values with cross-cultural consistency, including Self-Direction, Stimulation, Hedonism, Achievement, Power, Security, Conformity, Tradition, Benevolence and Universalism[10]. Based on the theory and the data from the research, the authors also summarized several important value orientations of workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang in their work. And from the value perspective, the authors further analyzed the subjective working value significance to workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Figure 18: Theoretical structure of basic values (picture from the Internet)

        Ranking of interviewees in the research based on theService Value System (SVS)

        Values Ranking


        Correlated description

        Frequency of occurrence


        Security (family)

        take care of family,

        Improve family living standards




        recognition from others;

        increased income;





        help each other; develop friendship




        want to see the world;

        take one’s own initiative


        Table 1: Statistical table of correlation between SVS values and working[11]

        It can be seen that the values most recognized by workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang in their work are safety, achievement, benevolence and self-decision. Safety refers to maintain the safety and stability of the living environment, and here the authors believe it is the stability of the family which workers care most; achievement refers to one’s ability and success based on social standards; kindness refers to communication and interaction with others for mutual help and care; freedom refers to self-exploration and creation.

        After the sorting of interview materials and close communication with people of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang, the authors found that most of their pursuits of value can be satisfied through working. Hereby the authors only expound the subjective value of working for workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang from the perspective of four highly recognized values.

        First, what people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang care about most is the family stability, which is most easily achieved. Many of the jobs chosen by them aim to create value for the family.

        Interviewee No.35 (a warehouse manager in Hotan City, Hotan Prefecture): “I prefer to work in towns. Now my wife is working as a nurse in the hospital. My family is more stable now, and life is much better than before. I am happy, and my wife and I enjoy the benefits of ‘social insurance system’[12].”

        Interviewee No.36 (a veterinarian in Yining County, Ili Kazakh AutonomousPrefecture): “My income has been quite high in recent years, becausethese years the veterinarian’s income and meat prices are related. If the meat price is good, people pay more attention to veterinary.The price of meat has been higher over the years, so I made more money.The reason why I chose this job was that I wanted to take good care of my family. If I have more money, I want to buy a house in Yining City so as to have a better housing condition. And my children can also receive a better education in Yining City. I have made plans now. I’m going to buy a house next year or the year after.”

        Secondly, greater personal competence and more achievement are the most intuitive value experience brought through working to workers. Working is an important way for workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to show and improve their abilities, gain respect from others and highlight their social status.

        IntervieweeNo.37 (a kindergarten teacher in Yining City, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“I am currently an officiallyregisteredkindergarten teacher in the village. I am very satisfied with my job, because my dream is to be a teacher. Now in my spare time, Iampreparingforteacher’s qualification certificate for primary and junior high schools, and I aim to be a teacher in primary and middle schools. Moreover, we participate in the training of standard Chineseevery winter and summer vacation. And there are also many trainings related to education, teaching as well as psychology. Anyway, there is no end in learning. I have to keep improving myselfduringwork.”

        IntervieweeNo.38 (a bus driver inQiraCounty, Hotan Prefecture):“I am fromQiraCounty, Hotan Prefecture, Xinjiang. In 2017, I was supported by some government departments to work as adriver in a bus company. I like my job very much, so I always try to be a qualified employee.And I was elected asa representative of excellent employees. Iwasmore motivated.AndI have made many friends in working. Everyone calls me‘Big Brother’!”

        Interviewee No.39 (a history teacher of a Junior High School in Karakax County, Hotan Prefecture): “Compared with the past, the income now is definitely better. My mother always told me that she didn’t have as much salary as mine when she first went to work. I think it is definitely better than that in the past. But when it comes to further improvement, I think that the professional promotion is very important now. I believe that striving for professional titles based on my own competence makes the job more meaningful. Now I have made it, and I have also been recognized by the school leaders.”

        In addition, the satisfaction of social interaction in working is essential, and the satisfaction for workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang is also shown in the process of interaction and exchange among different ethnic groups.

        IntervieweeNo.40 (a Nang(Uygur bread) worker in KashgarCity, Kashgar Prefecture):“I amaUygur, andpeople ofdifferentethnic groups in Xinjiangwork together, and we always play together. Thefriends of Han nationality come to our house to celebrate for our CorbanFestival. And we go to their house to celebrate the Spring Festival. It is very interesting.”

        Interviewee No.41 (a village cadre of the ** Village in Hotan County, Hotan Prefecture): “Everyone works and lives together, and usually participates in ethnic unity activities in the village together. Communication and exchanges among all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are getting more frequent. We help one another to take care of our children when some of us go shopping.”

        IntervieweeNo.42 (an employee of a real estate agency in YiningCity, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture):“I’m a Kazakh, and there are three employees ofHan nationality and two Uygur in the company. We get along well and we help each other. I think it is wonderful to workwith colleagues from different ethnic groups.”

        In the end, the pursuit of self-cognition improvement, idea renewal and self-practice can be achieved in working by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

        Interviewee No.43 (a service managerinTacheng City, Tarbagatay Prefecture): “I often visit some cities for business reasons. Wherever I go, I always see that people work really hard. So when I come back, I often tell people around me that we should open our horizons. We are still young, and we need to work hard. Working is meaningful for us. I hope we can live a better life.”

        Interviewee No.44 (a food wholesaler in Yumin County, Tacheng Prefecture): “I have never been to other provinces in China before. Since high school, I have planned to earn more money to visit other cities. Now I have to travel other cities frequently for business reasons. I often go to Urumqi. In the future, I will visit other provinces in China.”

        Interviewee No.45 (a worker at a timber factory in Qira County, Hotan Prefecture): “I was not well educated. In recent years, I have been thinking about improving myself, especially in terms of knowledge learning. I keep learning standard Chinese at work, and I also try to learn techniques from my master. Now my communication skills and techniques have been greatly improved.”

        It has been proven that it is working that helps workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to maintain the stability of their personal lives as well as their family. And they have accomplished many goals that they had been expecting and tried what they had never experienced, where they were warmed and supported through the social interactions. Moreover, they have achieved self-development at work. Working like this can not only meet the subjective needs of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, but also can be regarded as the most valuable and meaningful human practice.


        As one of the specific behaviors of human beings, working is the first need for human survival and development, and it is the most basic human right. The research team has visited communities and villages in 14 counties and cities in Xinjiang and closely communicated with workers of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang, from which the research team learned about the emotions, the motivations, the working modes and the value for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who chose to work. It has been proven that their working emotions are in line with human nature, and they chose to workautonomously and voluntarily, their working modes are keeping up with the trend of modernization, and their working value is significant. Overall,this research draws the following conclusions.

        Figure 19: The process of autonomous and voluntary working for workers of allethnic groupsin Xinjiang

        First, working is an autonomous and voluntary act carried out by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang to meet their emotional and logical needs. In different stages, everyone has different emotional needs. Workers of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang keep working to meet their emotional needs out of realizing autonomy, out of enhancing competence, and out of achieving connection. As has been mentioned in the research, the authors’ communication with workers of different ethnic groups in Xinjiang during the interviews has proven that they work to keep meeting their different emotional needs. Everyone agrees that working helps meet emotional needs and helps make progress which is not something to be forced.It is what everyone has been looking forward to.

        Second, working is an autonomous and voluntary social behavior chosen by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang in a rational way. As has been mentioned in the research, the working motivation by all ethnic groups in Xinjiang has transformed from extrinsic to intrinsic one, from non-self-determined to self-determined one. In this process, they have not only ensured the basic guarantee of life and income through working, but also realized their life goals, value and dreams. And it can be said that working has been an important part of their life, and has become something they enjoy to lead a happy life. In the interviews, the authors learned that when asked of the question “Are you forced to work?”, every worker in the interview was surprised to ask “We work to earn more money. Working is an important part of our life, and how could I be forced to get rich?”

        Third, the working situation of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang is in line with the inevitable trend and natural process of social modernization. As has been mentioned in the research, more and more people in Xinjiang are choosing to work in other places, some of them being employed within Xinjiang, and others inother provinces in China. It can be seen that work has brought more people to the city from the countryside; to the second and tertiary industry from the primary industry; and transformed them from farmers to workers. And more and more people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have broadened their horizons, made friends and unleashed their potential by stepping out of their home for work.

        Fourth, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have shown the value of harmonious family, self-improvement and greater competence that are achieved through working.As has been mentioned above, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang who had barely made both ends meet have achieved quality life in terms of food, clothing, shelter and transportation through working. Both physical and spiritual needs of individuals and family members are met. It can be said that through working and employment, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang have lived a more beautiful life with more income, brighter future, greater dreams, and better mood. At the same time, there is the interaction between the social acts of individuals and the overall development of the society. The decent work and better life of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang will promote the prosperous development of Xinjiang’s economy and society. In turn, the booming economy in Xinjiang will create a better environment for the decent work for people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. (End)

        [1]Zuliyati Simayi, Standing Committee Member of CPC Committee,Vice President, Professor, PhD supervisorof Xinjiang University.

        [2]ZhangYaxi, a 2019 Doctoral Candidate at the School of Marxism, Xinjiang University.

        [3]Xu Haixia, a 2020Postgraduateat the School of Marxism, Xinjiang University.

        [4]Hu Feifan, a 2021Postgraduateat the School of Marxism, Xinjiang University.

        [5]The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin, Selected Works of Marx, Engels, Vol.4[ M], Beijing: People's Publishing House,2012, p.253.

        [6]Taylor, Charles. The Root of Self: The Formation of Modern Identity [M]. Nanjing: Yilin Press,2008:12.

        [7][America] Alex Ingles:“Becoming Modern: Individual Change in Six Developing Countries”, intercompilation by Yin Lujun,The People’s Of Sichuan Publishing House, 1985 edition, p. 23.

        [8]The State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China. “Labor and Employment Security in Xinjiang” (White Paper) [M], Beijing: People’s Publishing House, 2020 edition.

        [9]Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Statistical Bulletin of National Economic and Social Development in 2021. http://www.xinjiang.gov.cn/xinjiang/tjgb/202203/2325b36ee55d4c649313e764078a17e4.shtml.

        [10]Li Ling, Jin Shenghua. The development process and latest progress of Schwartz’s

        theory of values [J]. Psychological Science, 2016, 39(01): 191-199. DOI:


        [11]Schwartz Values Survey (SVS). It should be noted that, by analyzing the interview materials of more than 100 people interviewed in Xinjiang and combining the theoretical descriptions of 10 basic values, the authors have made statistics on the correlation descriptions corresponding to the basic values in the interview materials. The top four values that describe the most frequent occurrences are ranked.

        [12]social insurance system: endowment insurance, medical insurance, unemployment insurance, employment injury insurance, maternity insurance, housing provident fund.

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