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Title: Workers and revolutionaries : the breakdown of industrial relations in the plants of Detroit and Turin, 1947-1973
Author: Pizzolato, Nicola.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3492 3362
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines in a comparative perspective shop floor politics and workers' struggles in the automobile industry of Detroit and Turin. Detroit and Turin offer a lens into the dynamics of what Fredric Jameson has called "high" modernism, a period in which Fordist and Keneysian tenets regulated the relation between wages and productivity. The thesis puts forward the hypothesis that rank-and-file movements in Detroit and Turin can be interpreted as part of a larger workers' uprising that struck advancedin dustrial societiesi n the period of maturity of the Fordist-Keynesians ystem and that heralded its crisis as a regime of accumulation. Turin and Detroit were two poles in a continuous transfer of production technology and managerials trategiest hat shapedt he point of production in a similar fashion. SimilaAy-v ; the way automobile manufacturers'p racticeso f expansion, recruitmenta nd restructuringb ecamet he main agento f urbanc hange.I n both cases,in fact, the huge influx of Southerners( Meridionali and Southern Blacks) not only recomposed the workforce, but also altered the social and, in Detroit, racial composition of various working class neighbourhoods. Competition for housing and resources caused tensions between newcomers and established residents. The encounter between Northerners and Southerners, reinforceda nd reconstructedc ultural (andi n America, racial) stereotypesI.n both cases, tensions_-,, - -.! in the city eventuallye xploded inside the auto factories where unions had been particularly inept in addressing the problems of the new protagonists of industrial relations. In this situation radical groups, such as Lotta Continua in Turin and DRUM (Dodge Revolutionary Union Movement) in Detroit, seized, for a while, -the leaýof the struggle, by exploiting migrants' alienation from both the production process and the traditional system of labour relations. This thesis looks at how migrants adopted new tactics and forms of industrial action that involved an immediate, face-to-face confrontation with the company and union hierarchy. It is arguý that the migrants' behaviourc annotb e easily encapsulatedin any political ideology. Often, their struggle representeda momenti n their path towardss ocial andi ndividual "recognition".
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available