7 Corporate Slave 社畜

Renee Zeng

社畜(Shèchù/ corporate slave)

社畜 is a buzzword on the internet, which originated from Japanese しゃちく; it was originally a derogatory term describing office workers, referring to employees who work obediently in the company and are squeezed like animals; Young people who are sexually deficient and have fragile economic foundation show a decrease in their psychological social willingness and behavioral social activities in terms of lifestyle, and are often used for self-deprecating and complaining by young people. English-speaking societies have a similar term “wage slave,” which is used to criticize labor exploitation and sweatshops. The existence of such slaves is called “wage slavery.”
Since the introduction of “社畜” to China, it has quickly replaced “加班狗” and has become a hot phrase that people who are deeply squeezed by work are seated and frequently quoted. Although the straightforward confession of the “加班狗” also “ensures” the psychological conveyance of the difficulty of life and the firmness of self-derogation, in terms of language warmth, it is still not as cold as the word “社畜.” The Chinese word “社畜” is precisely between the abbreviation and expansion of the combination of “society” and “livestock,” which demonstrates the roughness of survival more brilliantly and powerfully. Moreover, “社畜” extend the hopelessness caused by endless overtime work to a wider social field, that is to say, the feeling of exhaustion and labor caused by heavy work, through the naming of “社畜,” quickly triggers more people who are called “社畜.” Association of slaughter conditions. All kinds of bad situations where happiness is pushed away suddenly burst out under the mobilization of “社畜,” showing everyone’s ubiquitous survival dilemma.

The work alienation reflected by the phenomenon of “社畜” should not only be regarded as a research category of labor sociology but should arouse the general attention of society. From the perspective of youth subjects, they should face challenges with a positive attitude. Strengthening time management, improving skills, reducing dependence on the internet and consumption, and participating in social life and public welfare activities are important means for young people to avoid becoming “社畜”; At the same level, paying attention to the physical and mental health of young people, standardizing the institutional guarantee of the legal rights and interests of young people in labor, and creating a multicultural atmosphere are important ways to avoid the “社畜” of young people.

As a phenomenon of youth subculture, “社畜” essentially reflects the social alienation and group anxiety of youth and their subjective practice of fighting against it. As a way of life, the popularity of “社畜” has the positive function of maintaining self-identity and building collective identity, and the negative function of reducing the level of individual physical and mental health and marriage rate.


“社畜_百度百科.” 百度百科, https://baike.baidu.com/item/%E7%A4%BE%E7%95%9C/9695843.

日文發音練習「社畜」 – 個人看板板 | Dcard. https://www.dcard.tw/f/persona_joe1119/p/237348873.

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Corporate Slave 社畜 Copyright © 2023 by Renee Zeng is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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