Accepted paper:

Solidarities and tensions among workers: household, kinship and intimacy across and beyond the production line


Dimitra Kofti (Panteion University, Athens)

Paper short abstract:

In the context of flexibilisation of labour, this paper explores the ways in which work relations inform and shape household and relations of intimacy and vice versa.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores how flexibilisation of labour interrelates with workers' kinship, household and other types of intimate relationships which, in their turn, affect relationships between different workers' groups on the shopfloor as well as inform managerial practices of production. This reciprocal set of relations suggests an understanding of moral and political economic choices as interlinked. Based on long-term ethnography of working class families and on factory ethnography in Bulgaria, I will discuss the ways in which inequalities between workers' groups with different statuses and positions, such as permanent and temporary ones, which often have conflicting interests, are intertwined with other tensions among relatives and household members. Furthermore, I will discuss how solidarities and relationships of dependency among household members, who work at the same company, clash with solidarities among shopfloor workers and cut across structural divisions of production. Taking into account anthropological literature on small and large scale industrial companies, this paper aims to contribute to discussions on contemporary inequalities shaped by flexible regimes of production.

panel P65
Linking the moral and the political economy in the European periphery