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Cadernos de Psicologia Social do Trabalho

versão impressa ISSN 1516-3717


BUSNARDO, Alice McCaffrey. Changes in the workplace, worker struggle and rootlessness: the re-structuring of production techniques in the day-to-day lives and representations of work of metalworkers in a company located in the ABC region of São Paulo. Cad. psicol. soc. trab. [online]. 2003, vol.6, pp.15-35. ISSN 1516-3717.

In this article, the different ways in which the re-structuring of production techniques are perceived by workers deeply affected by such transformations are described and analyzed. A case-study methodology of research and analysis was utilized. After preliminary visits to the target company, a field research diary was elaborated and 13 workers were interviewed. The subsequent analysis revealed that: 1) The re-structuring of production techniques is understood in different ways and provokes different feelings (relief, need for further elaboration, mistrust) in those interviewed; 2) Workers do, in fact, seem to place great value on some of the changes introduced into the workplace environment; 3) The reorganization of the factory environment, which is often accompanied by a seductive ideological discourse, disguises structural contradictions and renders the perception of worker insatisfaction difficult; 4) The so-called “participative system” seems to mask an internalized symbolic control, creating the illusion of a convergence between worker and company interests. The re-structuring of production techniques provokes a weakening of feelings of class solidarity and a blunting, in the workers, of the perception of community, which saps, in turn, the power of resistance and increases feelings of worker rootlessness; 5) Workers use different techniques of resistance, which in turn seem to be related to their diverse life histories - and especially to their ties to labor organizations.

Palavras-chave : Re-structuring of production techniques; Metalworkers; Worker struggle; Rootlessness; Ideology.

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