Chapter

Being with the Stone Quarry Workers<sup>1</sup>

Mohammad Talib

in Writing Labour

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780198067719
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198067719.003.0007
Being with the Stone Quarry Workers1

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In this chapter, the author discusses his personal research trajectory within the wider intellectual horizon and how his conceptions of the research subject developed and changed during the course of fieldwork. Another change occurred in the manner of interpreting labour as a concept, as well as the living reality of labour communities, in this instance, the stone quarry workers of Delhi. There was an almost total absence of any overtly political engagement among the workers. The workers' children's school, the temple, and the occasional sharing of folk tales were sites allowed workers to contest views, which either confirmed or refuted their position as workers in their current living conditions. As a pragmatic stance, the author discovered that the category of ‘labour’ carries the minimum presuppositions of consciousness and politics traditionally associated with ‘class’.

Keywords: fieldwork; labour; class; politics; folk tales; temple; children's school; living conditions

Chapter.  10933 words. 

Subjects: Occupations, Professions, and Work

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