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Title: What market mechanisms mean : transforming institutions and livelihoods in Bulgarian maritime employment
Author: Kremakova, Milena
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 1040
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis analyses the effects of marketisation and globalisation on individual working lives, using the case of employment in the maritime shipping industry in post-socialist Bulgaria (1989-2009). The emergence of new market mechanisms under the combined impacts of post-socialist political and economic change, EU-accession, and globalisation, is analysed using convention theory and the capability approach. A situated micro-sociological case study of maritime institutions and working lives was conducted in the course of nine months of fieldwork in the period 2008-2010. The concept of a 'new post-socialist spirit of capitalism' is developed, following Boltanski & Chiapello (2005[1999]), and substantiated by empirical evidence from 52 in-depth interviews, documents and media reports, and non-participant observation. This thesis contributes to several areas of enquiry: post-socialism; employment; maritime studies; and studies of the lifecourse and working lives. Using the example of maritime employment, it draws out connections between macroinstitutional transformations, labour market conventions, individual working lives, and subjective perceptions of change. The study reveals a number of problems: the increasingly precarious nature of the post-socialist maritime labour market; the insufficient accountability and legal control over the quality of maritime jobs offered by global shipowners; the segmentation of the maritime labour market into 'good' and 'bad' jobs, some lacking basic employment security, social or legal protection for maritime workers, and even workplace safety; the lack of alternative avenues for meaningful careers for former seafarers; the declining popularity of maritime professions; the deprofessionalisation and loss of dignity and meaning in maritime labour; increasingly fragmented career trajectories; and the dissolution of local maritime communities. These problems, not restricted to Bulgaria, indicate the need for concerted supra-national public (labour and social) policies targeting maritime workers at the level of the EU and other international organisations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HC Economic History and Conditions