Workers' Expressions

Beyond Accommodation and Resistance

Edited by John Calagione, Doris Francis, and Daniel Nugent

Subjects: American Labor History
Series: SUNY series in the Anthropology of Work
Paperback : 9780791408360, 242 pages, March 1992
Hardcover : 9780791408353, 242 pages, March 1992

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Table of contents


1. Workers' Expressions: Beyond Accommodation and Resistance on the Margins of Capitalism
John Calagione and Daniel Nugent

2. Working in Time: Music and Power on the Job in New York City
John Calagione

3. Popular Musical Culture in Rural Chihuahua: Accommodation or Resistance?
Daniel Nugent

4. Artistic Creations from the Work Years: The New York World of Work
Doris Francis

5. Exploring the Boundaries of Occupational Knowledge
Robert McCarl

6. Eating Out of One Big Pot: Silk Workers in Contemporary China
Lisa Rofel

7. The Festival's Work as Leisure: The Traditional Craftsmen of Gion Festival
Tamara K. Hareven

8. Work and Worship: Changing Images and Changing Lives in West Bengal
Eva Friedlander

9. Working Through the Crisis: Resistance and Resignation in the Culture of a Deindustrialized Community
Pauline Barber

10. Work and Gusto: Gender and Re-Creation in a North Mexican Pueblo
Ana Maria Alonso

11 Conclusion

Daniel Nugent, Doris Francis, John Calagione






This book explores the interrelations between work and social life. It emphasizes how workers' expressive forms and public performances connect with processes of social, cultural, and individual empowerment. Departing from perspectives that emphasize organizational integration, equilibrium, and continuity, the authors present evidence from anthropology, history, and folklore to explore intersection of popular culture and working situations.

The authors offer new data in the on-going debate about the separation of work and leisure, and raise questions about the diverse representations of class and the labor process. They identify workers' cultural values that emerge within the changing context of production, and that are not merely an outcome of industrial hegemony. Instead, workers' representations and articulations of craft mastery, class identity, and gender, reveal transformations of the traditional categories of those who produce and those who appropriate value. The studies of workers' lives range from contemporary United States and Mexico to China, India, and Japan.

John Calagione is lecturer at the City College of New York (CCNY), Center for Worker Education. Doris Francis is Professor of Health Services Management at the Graduate School of Management and Urban Policy, New School for Social Research. Daniel Nugent is Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arizona at Tucson.