Russian Workers: The Anatomy of Patience

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9780719056116: Russian Workers: The Anatomy of Patience
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Following the strike waves of 1989 and 1991, many commentators expected Russian workers to play a decisive role in determining the course of transition. Workers have stoically endured a catastrophic decline in living standards, a loss of security and wage delays of six months or more. Sarah Ashwin’s book directly confronts this paradox, dissecting the apparent "patience" of Russian workers through an original analysis of the forms of social integration fostered within the Soviet and post-Soviet enterprise, and an examination of the barriers that have prevented trade unions from effectively representing workers’ interests during the transition. Ashwin's analysis is based on an ethnographic case study of a South Kuzbass coal mine. Starting from interviews with workers and trade union activists, Ashwin relates large-scale political, social and economic changes to the dilemmas of everyday life, showing how workers’ responses to reform are influencing the post-communist recomposition of the Russian state and economy.

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About the Author:

Sarah Ashwin is Lecturer in Industrial Relations at the London School of Economics.

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This is a must read for anyone interested in Russia's puzzling social stability in the face of unprecedented ecconomic decline and political cronyism. Michael Burawoy, University of California, Berkeley

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Sarah Ashwin
Published by Manchester University Press (1999)
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