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Songs of the FactoryPop Music, Culture, and Resistance$
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Marek Korczynski

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451546

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451546.001.0001

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Dotted Lines on the Shop Floor

Dotted Lines on the Shop Floor

Cultural Connections with Collective Resistance

(p.164) 8 Dotted Lines on the Shop Floor
Songs of the Factory

Marek Korczynski

Cornell University Press

This chapter explores the material and cultural underpinnings of the acts of collective resistance by the workers. It first examines established industrial sociology literature before turning to see how we can understand worker agency better by understanding the connections between lived culture and resistance. The chapter outlines how crucial elements within the musicking “Stayin' Alive” culture at McTells served to support the agency of workers in enacting the resistance. It turns James Scott's “safe-valve” theory which argues that cultural discourses offer an outlet for the frustrations of subordinate groups in such a way as to make the subordinate group less likely to undertake collective acts of resistance. Applied to the McTells, it is clear that just because management has sanctioned listening to the radio as a form of indulgence, it does not mean that musicking has no connection with acts of resistance.

Keywords:   collective resistance, lived culture, resistance, worker agency, musicking, radio, McTells, James Scott, workers

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