Working-class life and struggle

Between 2017 and 2021, I was working on the doctoral project Working-class life and struggle in post-Soviet Russia at the University of Manchester. After its completion, I earned a PhD degree in Sociology. The results of that project underlay my first single-authored book The urban life of workers in post-Soviet Russia to be published by Manchester University Press.

Drawing on multi-sited ethnography, this research examines the everyday lives and struggles of workers in two industrial neighbourhoods located in the Russian cities of Moscow and Yekaterinburg. The study addresses three interrelated sub-themes: workers’ lives in urban industrial areas; the everyday inequalities they face; and the everyday struggles in which they engage. The data upon which the project is based includes 53 interviews and more than 150 pages of field notes and visual data produced by the researcher and research participants. The analysis of this material is conducted through the lens of a theoretical framework constructed through critical engagement with three key bodies of thought: Williams’s (2009 [1977]) understanding of working-class life and structure of feeling; Bourdieu’s (2010 [1984]) concepts of a sense of place and class habitus; and theories of everyday resistance and struggle (Foucault, 1991 [1977]; Scott, 1989, 1990). The study’s overarching research question asks why workers living in particular socio-material conditions become engaged in specific forms of everyday struggles – or do not.

Journal articles from this project are coming soon.

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