Accepted Paper:

Towards ethics of giving: Heroes of Labour and Shock Workers  

Author:

Andrea Matosevic (Juraj Dobrila University of Pula)

Paper short abstract:

In this paper I will analyse the logic that is inscribed into the particular working ethos of Heroes of Labour and Shock Workers on YLA that took place in socialist Yugoslavia. Both had to combine work, education, and culture with a particular logic that was inscribed in them-the logic of a gift.

Paper long abstract:

In this paper I will analyse the logic that is inscribed into the particular working ethos of Heroes of Labour and Shock Workers on Youth Labour Actions that took place in socialist Yugoslavia. Both had to combine work, education, and culture with a particular logic that was inscribed in them - the logic of a gift. Moreover, it was Peter Sloterdijk, a German philosopher who recently drew attention with his thesis that a state financial system should be re-established in terms of a new ethics of giving if we are to overcome the moment of hard pessimism that West is overwhelmed by. It is from this starting point that I will try to show that Shock work on YLA and post-war Heroes of Work (Alija Sirotanović, Sonja Erbežnik, Marija Bonaš, Vicko Lapov, Franjo Turčić etc.) were already huge "gift-giving" systems with individuals being inscribed into "historical labour successes". But starting form 1950s this trend changed - particularly on YLA a different feeling of prestige was created among volunteers because only university students and high-school students that had good grades (and healthy ones) could leave and gain first-hand shock-work experience. A new feeling among brigade members was created - their work was now "relaxing, fancy, and a real spa treatment" if compared to previous labour actions. This also meant that a new ethics of giving and receiving was created.

Panel P051
Works that matter (not): valuing productivity through and against the market