Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Industrial work and inequality at the edge of the European Union: The case of Baia Mare, Romania  
Raluca Pernes (Babes-Bolyai University)

Paper short abstract:

The city of Baia Mare, Romania, is ostensibly an industrial hotspot for local and international companies alike. This development boom is paired, however, with underdevelopment, deprivation and discrimination by the capitalist system, the state, and local communities alike.

Paper long abstract:

Tens of thousands of labourers work in the factories in and around Baia Mare, a city that is newly industrialized after an initial industrialization under socialism. Most inner-city old industrial sites have been abandoned and brownfield projects are sprawling in the area around Baia Mare. Local and multinational companies push the state for infrastructure development: fully-serviced industrial parks, airport expansion, road-building and maintenance.

Most companies pay most workers the minimum wage of about 280 euro a month. Their objective is to achieve the lowest possible production costs while remaining within the borders of the European Union. This has become even more crucial since the pandemic, when transport from other parts of the world could become erratic at short notice.

Workers and their families, unable to make do on their low wages alone, constantly scramble for means to supplement their income. Many work overtime systematically; some choose to migrate for work abroad for a few months every year; yet others quit their factory jobs for more lucrative opportunities during the summers, only to return to the factories in the autumn. Stuck in the circle of deprivation and precarity, some have lived in improvised shacks on the edges of the city for decades. Most of the extremely vulnerable are Roma. As such, infrastructure growth neighbours the lack or decay of infrastructure and needs to be placed in the context of dramatic inequality on several fronts: the workings of the global neoliberal machine, the priorities of the state, the geography of the city.

Panel P116b
"Promising Growth": Anthropological Reflections on Sprawling Infrastructure and Inequality
  Session 1 Thursday 28 July, 2022, -