Reconfiguring capitalism, reconfiguring industry, reconfiguring livelihoods
Carmen Bueno (Universidad Iberoamericana)
Susana Narotzky (Universitat de Barcelona)
Sharryn Kasmir (Hofstra University)
Producing the Earth
Alan Turing Building G107
Tuesday 6 August, 9:00-10:00, 11:00-12:00 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Crucial transformations of hegemonic economic models have spread around the globe. Local development paths are influenced by the circulation of international flows of different resources, producing actions and effects, while being the outcome of specific negotiations of meanings and relationships.

Long abstract:

In the wake of globalization where international flows of commodities, capital and people have intensified, industry has experienced crucial transformations based on new parameters of productivity and innovation. Industry has been re-localized, evolving as a central asset of emergent countries in a similar way as when it was a growth model (the 'driving force') of western national economies until the 1970s. In this panel we will focus on the industries that were considered 'strategic' or 'key' during the first part of the 20th century (Steel, shipyards, but also automobile, mining, energy, etc.) and we will analyze the transformations that have resulted from the demise of the economic-nation-building model that sustained the development of large, state supported industries and a vision of full employment. Such industries gave a means of stability and livelihood to many workers and their families, and they still do, but with the reconfigurations of the spaces of industrial capitalism, these workers' lives have also been reconfigured. We will address three issues in relation to these transformations: 1) The meaning of work stability vs. uncertainty in the new configurations of the industrial production structure, in particular its effects on solidarity. 2) The possibilities of creating meaningful links and projects across generations through the transmission of knowledge, skills, values and job opportunities, in particular the transformation of the patrimonial value of work experience. 3) The meanings and consequences of technological change for the work and livelihood of industrial workers."