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Construction Workers

The Cultural Politics of Wages: Ethnography of Construction Work in Kochi, India

Author : Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma | 2016 |
Published By: Contributions to Indian Sociology

This article argues for an understanding of wages as a cultural and spatial relation. By examining the wages of migrant workers and local unionised labour in Ernakulam in Kerala, South India, it demonstrates that ‘wage’ embodies practices and processes. The article details the labour practices in a port building site and in spot labour markets for construction work. It examines skill as a social relation and non-payment of wages as an accumulation strategy. Wages of local workers and that of migrant workers differ not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of the processes and practices that surround them. These differences are viewed through the lens of cultural politics and spatial differentiation.

URL : 20170803023256.pdf

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