Workers and Narratives of Survival in Europe

The Management of Precariousness at the End of the Twentieth Century

Edited by Angela Procoli

Subjects: Sociology Of Work, Economy And Society, Anthropology Of Work
Series: SUNY series in the Anthropology of Work
Paperback : 9780791460863, 232 pages, July 2004
Hardcover : 9780791460856, 232 pages, July 2004

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Table of contents


Angela Procoli

Part I. Identity and the Experience of Work

1. The Hazards of Overemployment: What Do Chief Executives and Housewives Have in Common?
Sandra Wallman

2. Secret Enterprise: Market Activities among London Sex Workers
Sophie Day

3. The Political Economy of Affects: Community, Friendship, and Family in the Organization of a Spanish Economic Region
Susana Narotzky

Part II. Liminality and the Narrative of Survival

4. Manufacturing the New Man: Professional Training in France—Life Stories and the Reshaping of Identities
Angela Procoli

5. Passages to No-Man’s-Land: Connecting Work, Community, and Masculinity in the South Wales Coalfield
Richard-Michael Diedrich

6. Unemployed and Hard Workers: Entrepreneurial Moralities between "Shadow" and "Sunlight" in Naples
Italo Pardo

Part III. Continuity or Discontinuity with the Past?

7. Productivity and the Person: From Socialist Competition to Capitalist Mission in Eastern Europe
Birgit Müller

8. Redefining Work in a Local Community in Poland: "Transformation" and Class, Culture, and Work
Michal Buchowski

9. Working in the West: Managing Eastern Histories at the German Labor Market—The Case of Russian German Immigrants
Regina Römhild



Chronicles the growing impact of job uncertainty on workers in Europe.


Workers and Narratives of Survival in Europe explores the growing problem of job uncertainty in Europe at the end of the twentieth century. The management of professional precariousness is reconsidered against the backdrop of far-reaching social, economic, and political changes in Europe in recent decades, including: the instability of the traditional family; the emergence of new forms of parenthood; globalization of the economic sphere; attempts to impose a uniform pattern of culture; and the breakdown of borders with former Communist countries. The contributors utilize extensive field studies in both Western and Central Europe to understand the meaning of professional uncertainty, as perceived by its victims, and the strategies they develop to face it.

Angela Procoli is Researcher in Social Anthropology at Laboratoire d'Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France and the author of Anthropologie d'une Formation au Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers.