Social dynamics and transformations of subjectivities in a post-industrial urban context: an ethnography of Mirafiori, Turin
(University of Turin)
Carlo Capello (University of Torino)
Javier Gonzalez Diez (University of Turin)
Paper short abstract:
The paper provides an ethnographic outline of post-Fordist predicament and of the recent economic crisis, based on fieldwork conducted in a working-class neighbourhood in Turin, strongly affected by these economic and social processes.
Paper long abstract:
One major issue in the anthropological as well as social and political discourse today concerns the effects the long transition from Fordism to Post-Fordism exerts on the social life and subjectivities of the working and middle classes. Few cities are better than Turin to observe this historical passage. And few neighbourhoods of this city are better than Mirafiori, a working-class area which grew under the shadow of the greatest Fordist factory in Europe, now largely dismantled. In this paper we propose to present and discuss the first results of an ethnographic investigation we are conducting in this part of the city. The research focuses on the social dynamics pertaining families and relational networks; on the everyday-life and cultural intimacy of the local subaltern classes; and on the transformations of local subjectivity, from a sound and well-defined working class identity to a new, more uncertain one. Working within the intimate spaces and the associative networks of the neighbourhood, we want to explore the different, emerging ways of coping with the long transformation and the more recent economic crises. Our aim is chiefly to provide an anthropological picture of processes often debated in the literature, but rarely analysed from an ethnographic perspective.
Crisis, intimacy, and the European subject