A “Thompsonian” pattern of labour unrest? Social movements and rebellions in the Global South





Precariat, Globalization, Unionism, Crisis, Class Struggles, Thompson


In this article, we will argue that the so-called Fordist pattern of labor unrest was a historical and geographical exception and that the focus on this model made it difficult to identify alternative patterns of worker mobilization, especially in the so-called global South. We consider that the problematization elaborated by Beverly Silver regarding the dominant labor unrest patterns in the 20th century overcame the Eurocentric bias of the analysis of labor conflicts, redefining the field of studies of global work. However, in view of the resumption of forms of collective mobilization of workers on a global scale after the advent of the crisis of capitalist globalization inaugurated in 2008, we believe it is necessary to rethink the models (“Marxian” and “Polanyian”) of labor unrest suggested by Silver. In short, by highlighting the contemporary resistance to commodification, especially on the part of the “global precariat”, we should expect to find the class struggle, but not in its industrial or Fordist guise. Therefore, a recovery of the work of the English historian Edward Palmer Thompson seems to us useful to think about the current pattern of labor unrest on a world scale.  

Biografia do Autor

Ruy Gomes Braga, Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Doutor em Ciências Sociais pela Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp). Professor do Departamento de Sociologia da Universidade de São Paulo (USP). ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8512-4306. E-mail: ruy.braga@usp.br.


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