Introduction. Dislocating labour: anthropological reconfigurations

Penelope Harvey, Christian Krohn-Hansen

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In the introduction to this volume on ‘dislocating labour’ we seek to lay the ground for an anthropology of labour that extends beyond the industrial heartlands from which the concept emerged. Remaining aware of the analytical purchase of the focus on the labour/capital relation, we argue that the ethnographic exploration of this relation allows us to extend the reach of the labour concept. It also allows us to explore the diverse ways in which labour relations are experienced beyond the confines of the economic, bringing kinship, personhood, affect, politics, and sociality firmly back into the frame of capitalist value creation. We draw on the notion of dislocation to extend the repertoire of labour analysis beyond that of dispossession and/or disorganization. By dislocation we refer to the unevenness of transnational capitalism's unfolding and the ways in which both places and persons are reconfigured by the movements of capital. Dislocation thus refers to the spatial movements of refugees and migrant workers, but also to other senses of disruption, such as the sentiment of feeling out of place, or of losing your bearings as things move and change around you.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Early online date18 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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