Artisans in late development : an investigation of Athenian small producers in the machining and garment industries
This thesis examines why in a semi-peripheral and late-developing country such as Greece small artisanal businesses have persisted, despite the orthodox view that industrialisation should have spelled their demise. In the course of the investigation artisans are described and defined, put into context, compared with their counterparts in other contexts, and studied at both the macro and micro level to uncover the reasons for their unexpected survival. The thesis is organized in three parts. Part One (chapters I-III) gives the theoretical, and comparative framework. Marxist teachings concerning simple-commodity production are explored, followed by a survey of the petite bourgeoisie in advanced societies, and of the Italian experience of small firm resurgence. Part Two (chs IV-VI) considers certain macro-level influences of the Greek formation on the structure of the artisanate. Circumstances and the new push towards industrialization after World War II are investigated to see what opportunities they furnished for the artisans' survival. State development plans and their impact on artisans are discussed, and the contextualization is rounded off by a review of the pertinent literature. Part Three (chs VII-XI) directs a micro-level focus on a sample of 100 small producers in machining and garment-making. After an explanation of methodology the "who", "how" and "why" of artisanship is explored, followed by an examination of the situation of aspects of being an artisan, both within the workshop and in relation to the outside world. The artisans' limitations, their collective organization, and their self-appraisal and plans for the future are taken up. The study concludes with an attempt at a synthesis that brings out the specificity of the Greek artisans.