Resistance and hidden forms of consciousness amongst African workers
Cohen, Robin. (1980) Resistance and hidden forms of consciousness amongst African workers. Review of African Political Economy, Vol.7 (No.19). pp. 8-22. ISSN 0305-6244Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03056248008703437
A major weakness in the interpretations proffered by many ‘radical’ commentators on African labour protest and worker consciousness has resulted from their efforts to define the characteristics of the African proletariat by the use of traditional ‘formula dichotomies’ — the theoretical bases of which have not been elaborated upon adequately for application within an African context. The methodological limitations imposed by these formulas (examples of which are ‘false versus true consciousness’, ‘economistic versus revolutionary consciousness’, ‘a class in itself or a class for itself etc), have led to an over‐emphasis on data which has been easily accessible to measurement, and which has also been familiar and comprehensible within the framework of accepted marxist theory. Consequently there has been too much reliance on data relating to strikes, unionisation and overt political militance, and for the most part a failure to discover and evaluate the silent, unorganised, covert responses of African workers. An imbalance caused by analysing overt worker militancy without paying adequate attention to the covert type could result in an overall false conception of labour consciousness. It is therefore necessary to widen the range of resources to include more data illustrative of how local cultural influences and social pressures can shape the workers’ perceptions of their own exploitation. These individualistic forms of protest within specific work situations might not be immediately familiar to the observer; neither might they lend themselves easily to categorisation. Nevertheless they will contribute decisively to the overall process of determining worker consciousness at both an economistic and political level.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Working class -- Africa, Labor unions -- Africa, Labor movement -- Africa, Quality of work life -- Africa|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Review of African Political Economy|
|Page Range:||pp. 8-22|
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