Proletarian Lives: Routines, Identity, and Culture in Contentious Politics

2022 | ISBN: 1316516644 | English | 300 pages | PDF | 4.82 MB

Based on multi-year ethnographic fieldwork on the Unemployed Workers’ Movement in Argentina (also known as the piqueteros), Proletarian Lives provides a case study of how workers affected by job loss protect their traditional forms of life by engaging in progressive grassroots mobilization. Using life-history interviews and participant observation, the book analyzes why some activists develop a strong attachment to the movement despite initial reluctance and frequent ideological differences. Marcos PĂ©rez argues that a key appeal of participation is the opportunity to engage in age and gender-specific practices associated with a respectable blue-collar lifestyle threatened by long-term socioeconomic decline. Through their daily involvement in the movement, older participants reconstruct the routines they associate with a golden past in which factory jobs were plentiful, younger activists develop the kind of habits they were raised to see as valuable, and all members protect communal activities undermined by the expansion of poverty and violence.

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