Accepted Paper:

Workplace cosmopolitanisation and 'the power and pain of class relations' at sea  
Penny McCall Howard (Maritime Union of Australia)

Paper long abstract:

This paper examines the 'power and the pain of class relations' (Ortner 2006) through the experience of Scottish men working in the global shipping, offshore oil, and fishing industries, industries in which the nationality of workers has changed radically since the 1980s. It combines recent anthropological literature on violence, subjectivity, and cosmopolitanism with a Marxist understanding of class as situated within differing relationships to production. It describes how people have experienced the cosmopolitanisation of their workplaces, as workers from Portugal, Eastern Europe, Russia, and the Philippines have been recruited by employers in order to reduce wages, working conditions, and trade union organisation. Drawing on Therborn (1980), it concludes that the experiences gained through this process have lead to the development of multiple and often contradictory subjectivities, which people draw on as they choose how to act in moments of crisis, and as they imagine possible futures.

Panel W115
In-migration, indigeneity and imagination: or class, community and crisis in Europe