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Author: Oliver Villar

Abstract

In 2016, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army (farc-ep) signed a peace deal (The Final Agreement to End the Conflict and Establish a Stable and Long-lasting Peace) in Havana, Cuba to end a 50-year-old civil war. This paper argues that, contrary to the conventional view, the relinquishing of weapons was a mistake, which is best understood through the context of regional power relations and politics of the Pink Tide and United States imperialism. It also argues that the peace deal has only favoured repressive political forces. It is hoped that this critical analysis of imperial peace will provoke further debate and discussion of the policies and movements which have disintegrated or survived, and can spark genuine solidarity amongst liberation struggles to achieve better strategic outcomes that are independent of any state power, however great or small.

In: Journal of Labor and Society
Author: Ali Altaf Mian

Abstract

This article contributes to scholarship on Muslim humanities, Islam in modern South Asia, and the Urdu literary tradition in colonial India. It does so by contextualizing and closely reading Ashraf ʿAlī Thānavī’s (1863–1943) commentary on the Dīvān of the fourteenth-century Persian poet Ḥāfiz̤. Unlike his modernist contemporaries, Ashraf ʿAlī does not read Ḥāfiz̤ through the prisms of social reform or anti-colonial nationalist struggle. Rather, in his capacity as a Sufi master, he approaches Ḥāfiz̤’s Dīvān as a mystical text in order to generate insights through which he counsels his disciples. He uses the commentary genre to explore Sufi themes such as consolation, contraction, annihilation, subsistence, and the master-disciple relational dynamic. His engagement with Ḥāfiz̤’s ġhazals enables him to elaborate a practical mystical theology and to eroticize normative devotional rituals. Yet the affirmation of an analogical correspondence between sensual and divine love on the part of Ashraf ʿAlī also implies the survival of Ḥāfiz̤’s emphases on the disposability of the world and intoxicated longing for the beloved despite the demands of colonial modernity.

In: Journal of Urdu Studies
In: Journal of Labor and Society
In: Journal of Labor and Society

Abstract

This article aims to analyze food delivery workers’ working conditions and ongoing collective organization during the pandemic in Brazil. The discussion involves historical analysis, based on empirical research carried out with delivery couriers over the past eight years in Brazil and on analysis of the delivery workers’ strikes in July of 2020. Our view is that their work is subsumed to a new type of work organization, management and control, defined here as uberization. Recent investigation shows that their working conditions are worsening during the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of reduced working hour value alongside unchangingly long workdays. These conditions have been met by platform workers’ collective organizations demanding better working conditions. Our findings indicate an ongoing political struggle involving different institutions, and the central role of communication between workers through digital platforms as the first form of organization. From the class composition framework, we understand that there is a germ for political composition involving Brazilian riders, in line with the circulation of workers’ struggles around the world, especially in Latin America.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

Abstract

The Covid-19 pandemic took the world by surprise in early 2020. By March 2020 many countries had taken drastic measures to contain the virus. In Argentina, on 20 March, the government suspended most economic activities. Delivery workers continued with their jobs in a context of high epidemiological risk. In this article, we analyze the work and organizing experiences of these workers from 20 March to 1 July of 2020. First, we look at the consequences of job precarity in the sector during the pandemic. Second, we analyze workers’ perceptions regarding their work in this new context. Finally, we study conflict dynamics between companies and workers under the new circumstances. We analyzed semi-structured interviews with workers and activists conducted by phone and WhatsApp during the aspo and supplemented them with secondary statistical information about their working condition before the pandemic and the analysis of documents published by different workers’ organizations.

In: Journal of Labor and Society

Abstract

This article focuses on the multiple violations of labor rights that on-demand delivery workers are facing in Ecuador—as well as their resistance. By presenting a case study of a recent organizational process to raise awareness of workers’ demands, we bring forward the role of women in platform workers organizations. Our reflections are based on data collected and analyzed from a survey of 148 anonymous delivery workers from three Ecuadorian cities; an in-depth interview; and our involvement in the project “Platform Observatory”. The analysis draws upon theoretical, methodological, and analytical frameworks developed by Feminist Economics. Our findings highlight how a migrant woman sustains la lucha—the fight—in a masculinized sector and her struggles to keep the organization alive. Moreover, we contribute to generating an archive of workers’ demands and their organization process in the country.

In: Journal of Labor and Society