Transformation of labour in post-transitional Croatia (TRANSWORK)

HRZZ, 2017 – 2021

Summary: In the footsteps of the continual observation of postsocialist processes, this project introduces the anthropology of labour as a subdiscipline into Croatian ethnology and cultural anthropology. Within the interdisciplinary framework that leans on recent attainments of European anthropology, anthropology of (post)socialism, anthropology of labour, critical studies of labour and economic anthropology, our conceptual and immediate ethnographic research will focus on everyday work lives of citizens of post-transitional Croatia. The research observes the dynamics of changes and adaptations to the new economies of work and life through circumstances that dramatically alter the experiences of work and question new cultural imaginaries linked to the idea of work and the projection of the future. The project TRANSWORK is oriented to two key problems-methodological questions in researching the transformation of work in contemporary Croatia. It is concerned first in the existential status and life strategies in the twilight of industrialisation. Empirically, the studies are focused on everyday work lives and adaptations to accelerated changes of life conditions. The second aspect includes observation of concepts and practices of work in social-political continuity (from Yugoslav socialism to postsocialist periphery and the crisis of neoliberalism). On the basis of archival and theoretical research and the direct method of guided interviews, we investigate concepts, values and practices of traditional models of work that encompass the socialist heritage of the work ethos and the transition of the industrial sector into the present, service sector.