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Palgrave Macmillan

Transnational Corporations from the Standpoint of Workers

ISBN 9781137323040
Publication Date August 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

This book follows the history and global expansion of one of the hundred largest corporations in the world, Volvo AB. Once seen as the symbol of innovative work organisation, oriented towards worker participation and satisfaction, neo-liberalisation has transformed the company into a promoter of lean production, at the expense of the workers' needs. The company's strategies in Sweden, Mexico, South Africa, and India are explored through the stories of its workers: women describe their pleasure of learning and their struggles against discrimination in the workplace and in society at large; men and women speak about their pride as producers and their grievances as wageworkers. The workers' voices differ, but their concerns are shared, while their identities as industrial workers transcend national, gender, and generational boundaries as well as the diverse politics of their unions. Nevertheless, they have not yet translated their common experiences into collective, globalised action.

Nora Räthzel is Professor of Sociology at the University of Umeå, Sweden and Visiting Professor at the Universities of Surrey, UK and Vigo, Spain. Her publications include: Finding the Way Home. Young Peoples' Stories of Gender Ethnicity, Class and Place in Hamburg and London (with Phil Cohen, Les Back, Michael Keith, and Andreas Hieronymus, 2008), and Trade Unions in the Green Economy (with David Uzzell, 2013).
Diana Mulinari is Professor of Sociology at the Centre of Gender Studies, University of Lund, Sweden. She has written extensively on gender and development in Latin America, and on the intersections of gender, race, ethnicity, and class in the context of the Swedish welfare state. Her publications include: Complying with Colonialism. Gender, Race and Ethnicity in the Nordic Region (with Suvi Keskiknen, Sari Irni, and Salla Touri, 2009).
Aina Tollefsen is Reader in Geography at the Department of Geography and Economic History, University of Umeå, Sweden. She has written extensively on labour migration, critical development studies, and globalisation. Her publications include: Globalisering (with Tommy Jensen, 2012), Of Berries and Seasonal Work: The Swedish Berry Industry and the Disciplining of Labour Migration from Thailand (with Madeleine Eriksson, 2013).

1. In Search of Labour in Labour Studies
2. Production Processes in a Globalising World
3. Qualitative Methods: What We Did and How We Did It
4. Locating Volvo: Four Plants, Four Places, Four Histories
5. Regimes of representation: Trade Unions in Sweden and Mexico
6. Men's Jobs – Women's Work: Women as Industrial Workers
7. Three Gender Regimes – Gender Relations at Work
8. Constructing the Volvo Family. The West and the Rest
9. Production Regimes - Producer's Pride
10. Women's Pride as Producers
11. The Wage Labourer's Discontent


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