The coal industry exercises a pervasive influence upon mining communities in Appalachia even though it makes minimal contributions to employment. Miners rarely participate in movements that fight against coal companies for better working conditions. One explanation for this paradox is the depletion of social capital. In this article, I first use the existing body of literature to build a theoretical framework for discussing bonding social capital. Second, I analyze how the United Mine Workers of America in Harlan County, Kentucky at the beginning of the twentieth century worked to generate social capital. The results show that these coalfield residents demonstrated a high degree of social capital in terms of a strong shared sense of reliability and a dedication to collective activities and intimate networks. The union during that period engaged in strategies that were instrumental in creating this high level of social capital: holding regular meetings, organizing collective actions, promoting collective identity, and electing charismatic leaders.
The Socio-Economic Situation of Comics Authors and Illustrators in Belgium
Pascal Lefèvre and Morgan Di Salvia
On the initiative of the research office of the non-profit SMartBe Professional Association for Creative Professions, an exploratory survey into the current socio-economic circumstances of comics authors and illustrators in Belgium has been undertaken for the first time. The replies of 191 French-speaking and 72 Dutch-speaking artists to the online questionnaire have given an idea of the profile of comics authors and illustrators in Belgium (in terms of gender, age, place of residence, educational background), their professional activities and the type of publications in which their work appears, and their employment status and income. The results show that, in general, their monthly income falls below the Belgian median, and that many artists, particularly in the younger age range, are reliant on supplementing their earnings from other sources. A number of differences emerged between the situation of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking artists. The role of creative grants (especially subsidies from the government) is shown to be crucial.
On 24 July 2009, in reaction to a ruling by the European Court of
Justice regarding the different retirement ages for men and women
in the public employment sector, the Italian government introduced
further “subtractive” (or consolidating) reforms to the pension sector
(after the series of measures that were adopted starting in 1992), in
order to equilibrate the conditions of access to retirement between
the two sexes. At the same time, the saving in expenditure obtained
through pension reform was directed to the social assistance sector,
traditionally atrophied in Italy and even today very undeveloped in
comparative perspective. This is of particular interest in light of the
noteworthy, and anomalous, imbalance of the Italian welfare state to
the benefit of the retirement system for the protection of the el
Constructing “the Roma” within the European neoliberal culture complex
Marianne Blom Brodersen and Emil André Røyrvik
Drawing on ethnographic material from Gitanos of Spain and current EU Roma integration policies, we explore the contemporary construction of the Roma ethnic group category as a specific type of “stranger” in the context of the European neoliberal culture complex. Our argument is that this classificatory reconstruction can be seen to work as a cultural prerequisite for the socio-political shaping and management of the Roma as a neoliberal “stable stranger.” This new stranger is based on constructing Roma as a potential unused labor pool and as recent immigrants, in contrast to the Gitanos’ own ideology and locally grounded identity of self-employment and anti-proletarianism. The paradoxical consequence of the integration policies, therefore, is the potential pushing of the Gitanos further away from Spanish mainstream society.
The Case of a Polish Factory in the 1950s
This article focuses on gender relations and industrialization in the Stalinist and post-Stalinist period in Poland. Taking the example of a newly built metal factory in Kraśnik and its female workers, it shows the importance of local conditions for the process of the “productivization” of women. The article argues that in rural areas the access of women to the factory generated less conflict than in the urban milieu. The plant employed a great number of female workers in nearly every position—not as a result of any special “productivization” policy, but because women sought to work there. Women in Kraśnik did not see a conflict between their identities as women and wage work, including that in occupations traditionally dominated by men. In the course of de-Stalinization, the gender division of work became more important in shaping the employment policy of the factory. This article demonstrates how gender ideologies specific to peasant and workers' culture interacted in the process of industrialization.
The Case of Expert Clients in Swaziland
Following the call by UNAIDS in 2006 to involve people living with HIV (PLHIV) in treatment programmes, expert clients were recruited to provide services within healthcare settings as volunteers alongside paid health workers. Swazi law requires employment contracts for anyone working in a full-time capacity for three months, complicating the status of expert clients. This article traces the genesis of the volunteer framework used to engage PLHIV in the provision of HIV care in Swaziland and describes how the quest for PLHIV to be involved coupled with donors’ promotion of the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) principle have together resulted in PLHIV serving as low-cost workers, disempowering the very people GIPA was meant to empower. I call for review of GIPA-based policies and a paradigm shift regarding a non-medically trained cadre of workers in an era of acute health-worker shortages in resource-limited countries hard hit by HIV.
Since the 1960s, Germany’s historical culture has continually reprocessed
the Nazi past and later the Holocaust for the purposes of education,
remembrance, and entertainment. The objective of this process,
Vergangenheitsbewältigung, is the self-centered and self-designed
therapeutic treatment of the descendants of the perpetrators and
bystanders of Nazism. It seems that Germans, who were better fascists
than other Europeans, are also determined to excel at the task of
working through Nazism and the World War II era. Therefore,
attempts at mastering the past have given rise to hectic cultural activity
as the field of contemporary history illustrates: “[I]ncessantly the
German business for contemporary history generates fast-food products.
It is based on a perpetual mobile of commissions, projects and
mini-grants, temporary employment and welfare-to-work subsidies,
conferences and lecture series—a perpetual mobile of pedagogical historiography
and history obsessed pedagogy.”
The Role of the Diyanet’s Women Preachers
Despite scholars’ tremendous interest in the dynamics of Turkish laicism, little to no attention has been paid to the actors and the practices through which Islamic morality is propagated among society every day. This article investigates the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet)’s policy that has been increasing the number of women working as preachers since 2003. To what extent and how does the employment of the Diyanet’s women preachers affect the way in which religion and Islamic public morality grow and are spread in Turkey today? What specifically is women’s contribution in this respect? Drawing on an ethnographic observation of the Diyanet’s women preachers’ activities in Istanbul mosques, the article outlines how they contribute to reshaping Turkish laicism while diffusing Islamic morality in the public space.
Surveillance and the African Immigrant Community in France, 1960-1979
By the early 1960s, an increasing number of Africans migrated to France from their former colonies in West Africa. Most were men hoping to gain employment in several different industries. Their settlement in Paris and other cities signaled the start of "post-colonial" African immigration to France. While scholars have analyzed several facets of this migration, they often overlook the ways in which France's role as a colonial power in West Africa impacted the reception of these immigrants after 1960, where surveillance played a critical role. Colonial regimes policed and monitored the activities of indigenous populations and anyone else they deemed problematic. The desire to understand newly arriving immigrant groups and suspicion of foreign-born populations intersected with the state's capacity to monitor certain groups in order to regulate and control them. While not physically violent, these surveillance practices reflected the role that symbolic violence played in the French government's approach to this post-colonial immigrant population.
Autonomy and dependence in contemporary Spain
How is social reproduction possible in a context of precarious employment and austerity policies that have defunded welfare? The paradox of autonomy and dependence is present in intergenerational relations of support and conflict at various scales. It emerges, on the one hand, in the neoliberal injunction to be individually responsible for one’s own present and future wellbeing, an aspiration that is impossible to fulfill. On the other hand, it is expressed in the increasing recourse by younger active cohorts to the care work and assets of their older kin—in particular retirement pensions and a home. Finally, policy calls to transform the pension system oppose younger and older generations in the accountings of social security financial sustainability and question the fairness of existing public pension schemes.