Narration of Workers from Turkish Steel Town: From Old to New Generations

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Aydın M. B.

13th Conference of the European Sociological Association, (Un)Making Europe: Capitalism, Solidarities, Subjectivities, Athens, Greece, 29 August - 01 September 2017, vol.1, pp.504

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • Volume: 1
  • City: Athens
  • Country: Greece
  • Page Numbers: pp.504
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


This paper examines the formation processes of the working class in Karabük on the basis of Karabük Iron-Steel Factories. The workers who have been working in the factory since the foundation of the corporation are chosen as the sample group of the study. The working class identity and the general formation of the working class are examined through three different 'generations'. Focus group and a field research based upon survey are applied in addition to in depth interviews. The aim of this study, in accordance with the historical development, to discuss each period separately, from the perspectives of their continuity and distinctiveness. By laying emphasis on trade union history and political field particularly, the study also tries to define the roles of these variables in the process of formation of the working class in different periods. It seems that the significant distinctiveness of the last generation of these three generations is remarkable. This paper focuses on historical process of working class formation. Karabük is the oldest heavy industry investment of Turkey. In its 75 years history, it can be seen Turkish social and economic history with workers' perspective. Karabük is a one of the 'steel town'. In generally, from a historical perspective politics come before industrial workplace relations. On the other hand, the study tries to focus on last generation working class, and the results are signed that the last generation of steel workers as 'precariat'. Last generation workers quest new politics, old type of trade unionism and old type political positions are not operational for new workers.