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Where state power and opposition collide: Discourses of labor protest in a new market economy
Linköping University, REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society. Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1933-3847
2009 (English)In: Oppositional Discourses and Democracies / [ed] Michael Huspek, London: Routledge , 2009, 1, 60-81 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This chapter explores the emergent discourses of labour protest which have accompanied the transition process from communism to the market economy. Building on the ground-breaking theoretical paradigm of V. N. Voloshinov and contemporary attempts by Marxist scholars to develop a materialist socio-linguistics, the gradual emergence of class-based labour discourses in the new market economies of Central and Eastern Europe is examined. A number of recent labour protests in ex-soviet Lithuania are examined. The complex articulation of labour identities is charted. Their legitimization, as social actors with “independent” demands, in the context of transitional Lithuanian society, is analyzed through the discourses of protest. Discourses of labour protest have emerged in contestation and tension with seemingly contradictory attempts to impose a “supra class” ideology. The imposition of both neo-liberal ideology which seeks to excludes organized labour from an independent role in civil society, and at the same time, the cultivation of the language of social partnership, which seeks to incorporate labour in national tripartite structures, are complementary attempts to forestall the emergence of more radical class-based discourses. The emergence of dialogic discourses between labour and capital, and the forms of their social resonance, reveal much about the current limits of labour protest in the new market economies. Such discourses also reveal much about possible future forms of labour contestation, as the new market economies of Central and Eastern Europe are incorporated into the newly enlarged European Union.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Routledge , 2009, 1. 60-81 p.
Keyword [en]
Discourse, Voloshinov, labour protest, post-communism, Lithuania, European Enlargement
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56728ISBN: 978-0-415-80389-2ISBN: 978-0-203-87202-4OAI: diva2:321650
Available from: 2010-06-01 Created: 2010-06-01 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved

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REMESO - Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and SocietyDepartment of Social and Welfare StudiesFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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