Accepted Paper:

Renegotiations of changing production politics and 'crisis' through story telling in a Bulgarian factory  

Author:

Dimitra Kofti (Panteion University, Athens)

Paper long abstract:

Continuous transformations of production politics, after 1989, resulted in changing professional positions at workplaces and renegotiations of shifting workers' status. Based on fieldwork in a privatised factory in Sofia, this paper focuses on various ways in which narratives on successive 'crises' since the 1980's and until the recent 2008 'crisis', are represented both as 'normality' and as 'rupture' by workers, when they narrate their life stories. Furthermore, it will discuss how talking about personal life stories as well as often commenting on colleagues' life stories are important ways in which workers often make sense and renegotiate ongoing shifting power relationships in the plant via familiar idioms of 'communist', 'not communist, 'powerful' and 'powerless'. Through presenting ways in which workers narrate their life stories while also discuss their colleagues' biographies, this paper will attempt to unfold how through viewing the past, current capitalist production politics are understood at the shop-floor.

Panel W113
Postsocialist Eastern Europe: social transformations and crises in personal biographies