Experience of work
This subproject investigates the workers' social and cultural responses to the changes brought about by the recent mining boom.
Inspired by classical ethnographies of mining work cultures, the study deals with the multiple dimensions of the work experience in mining companies. We focus on different categories of Zambian and Congolese workers – executive, skilled, and unskilled workers – in order to understand how they cope with management practices and discourses within these companies.
Theoretically, the subproject investigates three classical themes: 1) the workers’ tactics, overt or hidden, to appropriate, change or undermine the social order of mining companies; 2) the workers’ moral evaluation of their work, also in comparison with the past and the future; and 3) the gender and generational relationships within workers’ family, the balance of power among women and men and the new ideas about family, monogamy, domesticity and male authority. All three topics are closely related to the central issue of the WORKinMINING project, the transformations of paternalism.