Accepted Paper:

From the iron to the industrial cloud - memory and desindustrialization at the Lisnave and Setenave shipyards  


João Santos (NOVA-FCSH)

Paper short abstract:

Between the 60's and the 90's, the Lisnave and Setenave shipyards were a symbol of industrialization in Portugal. Based on the life histories of this workers we intend to analyze the passage from a workers culture based on solidarity to an individualist culture that is fruit of de-industrialization.

Paper long abstract:

In the 1960's, Portugal suffered a deep restructuring of its economic tissue after an acceleration of the process of industrialization in what became known as the golden cycle of portuguese industry. This late industrialization makes Portugal one of the countries ruled by a peripheric Fordism, which will be particularly relevant in the region of Setúbal. Several heavy industry companies will settle there, amongst which Setenave and Lisnave are two of the most relevant. On the one hand, as signifiers of the history of industrialization in Portugal and on the other hand, as touchstones of the workers' movement. These shipyards are described by workers as being "a city within the city" given their dimension and labour contingent; indeed, this industrial "city" is more than a place of economic production, being also a place for sociability. In both shipyards the workers shared an idea of reproductive space. Yet this did not strip the shipyards of its features of economic exploitation, much like a factory. The material conditions of labour and the discipline of technical subordination directly affect "all sensing organs", as noted by Marx. Based on the recovery of the life histories of this workers - by valuing the importance of their memory, as well as the meaning they attribute to the changes experienced between the 1970s and the deindustrialization period of the 1980s, we intend to analyze how it happened inside the shipyards the transition from a working culture based on solidarity to a culture dominated by competition and individualism.

Panel Econ01
Remembering the factory: industrial pasts and presents