Trust, Betrayal, and Transformation

Janet L. Finn

in Tracing the Veins

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1998 | ISBN: 9780520211360
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520920071 | DOI:
Trust, Betrayal, and Transformation

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A powerful discourse of trust and betrayal reverberates throughout the histories of Butte and Chuquicamata. This chapter explores the ways in which the theme of trust and betrayal has manifested in labor company relations, in gender relations, and in political promises made and broken. In materially and symbolically loaded ways, trust and betrayal have been encoded in social consciousness and practice. Workers in Butte and Chuquicamata have variably expressed their sense of betrayal by both union and company practices, and have found themselves the targets of blame for problems beyond their control. They are deeply skeptical of the calls for worker participation in the new forms of labor discipline they face. The chapter argues that this tension of trust and betrayal and its concomitant practices of resistance are keys to the retooling of workers for their transient positions in the labor discipline of postmodern capitalism.

Keywords: Butte; Chuquicamata; labor company relations; betrayal; gender relations; worker participation; labor discipline; postmodern capitalism

Chapter.  11922 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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