This paper discusses the way in which China’s ‘Harmonious Society Project’ and industrial transformation have intersected in a particular way in Guangdong Province, China, revealing both the consequences and opportunities it poses for migrant industrial workers. Elaborating on Mannheim’s generational analysis and using interview data from 37 migrant industrial workers, I seek to show that worker strategies, based on policy and market opportunities, can be understood as fragmented strategies of generations reacting to the transforming political economy. Findings demonstrate that this inter-generational perspective provides tools to grapple with how migrant industrial workers form alliances and negotiate obstacles taking divergent strategies to cope with industrial transformation.