Class mediations, working-class lives and labour subjectivity in post-socialist Ukraine

Gregory Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This article contributes a post-socialist working-class lives perspective to the literature on class (dis)identification. Based on an ethnographic study of middle-age workers in the western Ukrainian city of Ľviv, the article problematises the apparent absence of workers' class identification despite significant commodification and marketisation of society. Evidence presented here points to the potency of gendered, national, regional and post-colonial constitutions of the subjectivity of labour. Rather than being fragmented identities competing with notions of ‘class’, these constitutions represent a ‘site of conjunction’ of the changing global processes and local social forms mediating class. The article illustrates empirically and analytically the specific social forms that shape labour subjectivity in Ukraine, while theoretically locating subjectivities as arising from the intersection of various determinations, where social forms and material relations are internally related with and through each other, representing a complex unity of the diverse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Review
Early online date21 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Apr 2020

Structured keywords

  • Perspectives on Work
  • MGMT theme Work Futures
  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • Global Political Economy
  • MGMT theme Global Political Economy

Keywords

  • Class
  • Identity
  • subjectivity
  • social form
  • labour
  • Ukraine
  • post-socialism
  • Eastern Europe

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