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Elena Dinubila - "Fight for meaning. Representations and work experiences in a greenfield automotive plant"

par Sylvie Chiousse - publié le , mis à jour le

Labor History journal, Taylor & Francis
en ligne depuis le 21 octobre 2019

Abstract
This article retraces the history of a FIAT factory located in a greenfield site in the South of Italy through representations of industrial work that have evolved over time. Relying on ethnographic research that I conducted in the towns of Melfi and Potenza, I describe how different forms of understanding the work done there oppose, affect and modify each other. The factory’s history from the early 1990s to recent years is divided into three main phases. The first section shows that external and self-produced representations of work were widely opposed in the first decade following the opening of the factory. The second section focuses on a strike that broke out in 2004, and its consequences in terms of collective memory. Finally, the third section demonstrates how some images shared by workers and local community have evolved from negative to positive, in a context of economic crisis. For each of the phases of the history of the factory, this article highlights local, national and global factors that determine the frames of reference within which perceptions of work are built.