Sowing the Threads of Resistance: Worker Resistance and Managerial Control in a Paint and Garment Factory

Martin, Randy
August 1986
Humanity & Society;Aug86, Vol. 10 Issue 3, p259
Academic Journal
Industrial workers under capitalism face two problems of survival. Workers must exchange their ability to labor in order to exist, and they face tedious and monotonous conditions at the workplace. The two prevalent views are that they respond to such conditions through adaptation on the one hand and resistance on the other. Workers' development of strategies to adapt them to the workplace anesthetizes them to the odious features of work and minimizes the possibilities of resistance. The paper describes when and how the adaptive strategies of workers fail to adapt, and lead to resistance. The author has compared expressions of worker adaptation and resistance in a garment and paint factory where he was employed. To answer the question of when adaptation becomes resistance, or why resistance appears in one shop and not the other, understanding the conditions under which reunification of conception disrupts the securing and obscuring surplus is necessary. The author also discusses the sources and variations of resistance as they arise from adaptive strategies.


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