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Flexible industrial work in the European periphery: factory regimes and changing working class cultures in the Spanish steel industry

Gonzalez-Polledo, EJ and Sabate, Irene. 2019. Flexible industrial work in the European periphery: factory regimes and changing working class cultures in the Spanish steel industry. Anthropology of Work, 40(1), pp. 15-24. ISSN 0883-024X [Article] (Forthcoming)

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Abstract or Description

This article explores how two steel industry firms operating in northern Spain have adapted to neoliberalism and globalization. Despite their geographical proximity, the comparison between their different trajectories, production, and ownership profiles highlights how their distinct factory regimes, while becoming entangled in global market dynamics, have allowed the emergence of contrasting definitions of workers’ identities, labor politics, and livelihood strategies, raising questions concerning (1) processes of distribution of privileges, skills, and knowledge among the workforce, and (2) the shaping of social relations, values, and meanings that result in the formation of particular factory regimes. The unequal position of steelmaking in regional economies, and the effects of economic policies that framed social relations in each firm, evince important differences between them, including contrasting expressions of resistance, discipline, and sociality on the shop floor. Our comparison considers how particular factory regimes bring forward different prospects as these firms face further industrial transformation, restructuring, and an increasingly uncertain future.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1111/awr.12162

Keywords:

steel industry, global markets, factory regimes, labour politics, knowledge transmission, livelihood strategies

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology

Dates:

DateEvent
1 November 2017Accepted
21 April 2019Published Online
3 June 2019Published

Item ID:

22096

Date Deposited:

03 Nov 2017 11:02

Last Modified:

21 Jun 2019 15:06

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22096

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