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Crafting Social Change: Former Global Factory Workers Negotiating Identities in Sri Lanka's Villages

Hewamanne, S (2017) 'Crafting Social Change: Former Global Factory Workers Negotiating Identities in Sri Lanka's Villages.' Identities. ISSN 1070-289X

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Abstract

This article explores how former factory workers negotiate new identities in villages, as new brides, mothers and daughters-in-law, after 5–6 years of employment in an urban Free Trade Zone. I argue that their performances of self-discipline and disavowal of transgressive knowledges allow them to make use of the limited social, economic and political spaces available while gradually reshaping local understandings about the good daughter-in-law. Former workers’ strategic deployment of social conformity represents the foundation on which their entry into village social, economic, political spaces is based on. Although individual social conformity would conventionally be identified as everyday politics, I argue that former workers’ performance of self-discipline and social conformity is strategic and leads to changes in gender norms and village social hierarchies and thus represents a form of politics that is in between everyday and transformative politics – politics that creates conditions of possibility for social transformations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Global factory workers, Sri Lanka, social change, performing conformity, transformative politics, gender norms
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 13 Jul 2017 16:03
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2019 01:00
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20058

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