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Agency at Work

Ethnographies in/of Late Industrialism


Edited By Monika Baer

Rooted in anthropological and ethnological traditions, this volume offers analytical insights into the workings of agency in late industrialism revealed in interactions between a coal power plant and a local community in Opole Silesia, in southwestern Poland. In this context, the authors show by the use of the ethnographic method, how variables and forces of various scales shape political events centered around the power plant; grassroots economic dynamics and entrepreneurship; the local semiosphere uniting the divided social group; affective dimensions of a social protest; (un)doing gender in the industrial workplace; and the mobile livelihoods of migrant industrial workers. By doing so, they concretize in different ways both the concept of late modernity and agency.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Monika Baer


Petr Skalník

Opole Power Plant as a Sociopolitical Catalyzer

Konrad Górny

Local Community in the Face of Intense Economic Changes: The Dobrzeń Wielki Commune in Opole Silesia

Mirosław Marczyk

Bottom-Up Economic Strategies in the Light of the Opole Power Plant Expansion

Marcin Brocki

Revival of Local Identity Under Political Pressure: German Minority in Southwestern Poland

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