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Invisible Denizens: Migrant Night Shift Workers’ Fragile Possibilities for Solidarity in the Post-Circadian Capitalist Era

Macarie, Iulius-Cezar
London’s New Spitalfields market night shift workers face weak possibilities for solidarity, and so presumably they are alienated from the mainstream, diurnal society. Since, generally people working nights permanently will suffer from isolation, sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion and mental alienation. Because, evidence from occupational health inquiries show how night shift work disrupts the circadian rhythms (Arendt 2010), and from anthropological and global studies showing that unmet social expectations lead to “hysteresis effects” (Bourdieu, 1984) and biological dissonance amongst the “walking ghosts” of India’s call centre agents (Aneesh 2012:527–29). Unless, of course, people in other job sectors are not working at night permanently, on 11/12-Hour night shifts like the respondents in this study or they are highly skilled migrants capable of buying solutions for sociability. The paper analyses firstly, three main contributing factors: (a) the expansion of the working day into the night; (b) the major alterations of time over time, and (c) the global city, the nurturing ground for producing the bio-automatons maintaining its global night-time economy. Secondly, the four migrant night shifters’ ethnographic portraits canvased here, expose their resilience in enduring work precariousness, and corrosion of social ties and networks with their families, away and at home.
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Contributor: Center for Policy Studies - http://cps.ceu.hu
Topic: Culture and Civil Society
Country: United Kingdom
Document Type: Social Analyses
Year: 2017
Keywords: Migration, Night Shift, Social Exclusion
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