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Constructing Site, Acting Laborer: The Production of Social Space Over Building Workplace
construction sites,sub-contracting,labor studies,production of space,spatial network,spatial performance,
|Publication Year :||2021|
This research focuses on the production of social space over building workplace by looking at the operational structure of the subcontracting system of the current apartment construction site, as well as the social relationship between the space and the laborers. Engaging with labor studies and theories of the production of space, the researcher is highlighting the spatial aspect of labor research on construction sites and in so doing complement existing scholarship of labor studies. Through participatory observation and depth interview conducted by researcher on the construction site, the appearance of different actors and the current labor conditions on the construction site are presented.
The construction company produces buildings as products and provides work for many contractors and laborers under the subcontracting system. With apartment buildings being the most popular living type and housing supply in Taiwan nowadays, the relatively mature reinforced concrete technology and construction process of apartment buildings have contributed to the making of a particular construction site that we have taken for granted in Taiwan today. From the perspective of class analysis, classes are fluid rather than static. It is a clear path for laborers to advancement by mastering professional skills. The foreman has both the characteristic of laborer and contractor boss. Supervisors are the self-conflicting class in between management and labor. In such a dominant structure of political economy, actors of various classes are facing the pressure of ensuring quality and efficiency in temporal and spatial senses. They create mutually agreed rules through negotiation based on relationship. Relationship is the foundation of the subcontracting system and the governance mechanism for manufacturing consent in the construction site.
On the other hand, the 'space' of the construction site goes beyond the residential product as a result of the construction. The space is accumulative and fluid, created along the 'footpath' of the laborers on a daily basis; it also results from the spontaneous and routinized practice of laborer finding space for rest - the reproduction space for construction - and therefore is inevitably becoming a field that must be contested and negotiated. At the construction site under the subcontracting system, space is the medium that reflects the power relationship of the labor process, the resources and the bargaining chip under the governance framework. Through continuous negotiation, the space is used by different actors, so as to realize the social space of the construction site.
Compared with the factory worker research focusing on the formal and informal arrangements of the labor process, this research emphasizes the constantly changing space as a key to understand the governance and negotiation at building workplace. All in all, the analysis of the social space of construction sites is expected to enrich the spatial perspective in labor studies.
|Appears in Collections:||建築與城鄉研究所|
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