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Accepted Paper:

Crisis at work, disorders in time: Ethnographic study of railroad workers (Brazil) and coal miners (France)  
Guillermo Stefano Rosa Gómez (UFRGS - Brazil) Cornelia Eckert (UFRGS - Brazil)

Paper short abstract:

This paper reflects on how crisis and discontinuity are lived by working communities that experienced the end of their profession. Through an anthropological study of the memory of railway workers and miners we emphasize the different temporal modes they used to narrate and endure these ruptures.

Paper long abstract:

This paper discusses how crisis are experienced and narrated by working communities and which are their strategies to endure the end of their profession during retirement and aging. Based on ethnographic studies between coal miners in France and railroad workers in Brazil, we approach how these persons dealt with multiple discontinuities that followed as a consequence of the privatization or "modernization" of their work and caused obsolescence of their knowledge, mass layoffs and the deterioration of living and labour spaces. We propose an ethnography of the crisis, aiming at interpreting the temporal disorder in the time experienced by these communities. Considering that crisis narratives and memories are endowed with a peculiar temporal rhythmic, we investigate the ways in which the workers present themselves in the face of destabilization. We show different temporal modes of the narrated and experienced crisis: it can be a sudden and unexpected break or a slow agony, a rumor or a metaphor for the unbelievable. The end of the work takes on a fantastic temporality and does not obey chronological time: in some cases, it never occurred, in others, its temporality is extended and constantly remembered. But not only fatality and mourning constitute the crisis reports. Despite the emotional difficulties of facing the drama of the disappearance of their way of life, the railroad workers and the miners make the crisis plausible, reversing the harmful signs and inserting them in a register of protagonism and agency.

Panel Irre10b
Temporality and (ir)responsibility within crises II
  Session 1 Friday 2 April, 2021, -