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Accepted Paper:

Occupational medicine as discipline. Changes in the work-health relationship in the Italian context at the time of COVID-19  
Andrea Filippo Ravenda (University of Torino) Giulia Arrighetti (University of Turin)

Paper short abstract:

Starting from two ethnographic researches conducted in southern Italy (in an oil refinery) and in central Italy (Amazon warehouses in Lazio) the paper will explore the relationship between occupational risk factors and occupational medicine as a control dispositive at the time of the COVID-19

Paper long abstract:

The relationship between work and health is one of the central issues of the biopolitics of capitalism: on the one hand, occupational risk factors, on the other hand, occupational medicine as a control dispositive.

This complex relationship seems to change from the industry's traditional productive "forms" to the "new" frontiers of the dematerialized capitalism of platforms, especially following the current pandemic phase of COVID-19.

For example, in 2020, Amazon never stopped its production but rather invested more than 140 million euros in Italy to build new distribution centres, favouring territories crossed by employment and environmental crisis. During the first lockdown, some workers complained that the company was not providing appropriate personal protection equipment and hence resorted to absenteeism as a form of resistance to face the fear of being infected in the workplace. The company responded to the health crisis and to resistance practices put in place by workers, pushing surveillance further into workers' bodies through technological devices.

Therefore, this paper aims to analyze how the relationship between health and work has changed concerning the syndemic phase and the transformations in the production systems of contemporary capitalism. Starting from two ethnographic researches led in southern Italy (in an oil refinery) and in central Italy (in an amazon hub), the paper will explore and compare the two different workers' experiences (from the "classic" energy industry to the contemporary forms of "amazon capitalism") in the double bind between health precautions and production needs

Panel P037
Anthropological perspectives on the transformative potential of the pandemic on work and health rights.
  Session 1 Tuesday 26 July, 2022, -