“I, Daniel Blake”, a film to reflect on modernity and the disappearance of middle-class jobs

Brexit, Trump victory, both are fuelled by economic changes, but also the decline of once-cherished institutions, including family, church and labour unions, all contributing to a fear that the world is changing in ways that workers, or else their children, cannot keep up with. “There used to be a lot more middle-class jobs,” said Clyde bleakly, another concrete ladler (source). “These days there are just people high up working on computers and a lot of guys working in Denny’s.” Hence, Not only is capitalism creating a lot of pointless jobs, but making disappear “classic jobs” or middle-class jobs.

Example of using sporadic conversations as a research method

Great example of how to engage with the target group of your study by sporadic conversations. The original source is an article on Trump victory and the reality of rural areas in US. In it, the political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison  Kathy Cramer speakes about his last book The Politics of Resentment, where she traces the rise of conservative Governor Scott Walker and the political evolution of Wisconsin. What Cramer says she found is that a strong sense of rural identity in the communities she visited has become a key driver of political motivation in Wisconsin. And over time, that sense of rural identity has come to be largely defined as an us vs. them mentality, with the them being people who live in cities.

Here I paste the most relevant parts regarding the methodology applied:

…what I did was to sample a broad array of communities in Wisconsin. And I asked people who lived there, “Where in this community do people go to hang out with one another?”

What’s important to understand is that these were not one-on-one interviews, these were not focus groups of people I assembled. These were groups of people who, for the most part, meet with each other every day, and they’ve been doing so for years. So I was inviting myself into their existing relationships in the places they already meet. I think that’s part of the reason why I was able to get the local texture. It wasn’t like trying to invite them on to the university campus and then trying to glean what I could out of them. Obviously the conversation changed a bit because I was there and asking questions. But these were groups of folks who were really used to talking with one another about politics.

This group was all men, older, some on their way to work and some retirees—so kind of the Trump demographic. I said to them, “What do you hope that Trump changes? Like, five years from now, what differences do you expect to see?” And initially their response was well, nothing. Nothing that presidents do ever affects us here in this place.


[Spanish politics] Mi participación en el debate sobre las últimas elecciones gallegas

[Spanish politics] Galicia non é de dereitas

Galicia non é de dereitas. Existe unha maior porcentaxe de potenciais votantes de partidos de esquerda ou centro esquerda, arredor do 40%, fronte a un 37% que suman PP e Ciudadanos, a xulgar pola última enquisa CIS. Como moito habería que falar dunha clara fragmentación esquerda-dereita. Outra cousa é que iso se vexa reflexado nos resultados electorais, e non o fai por varios motivos, como a lei electoral ou a incapacidade de mobilizar ao electorado de esquerdas. Noutras palabras, Galicia inclínase cara esquerda en termos sociolóxicos e cara a dereita en termos electorais.

Fonte: CIS

Primero, el 1%, después el 10-15% de clase media de renta superior

El mayor obstáculo para resolver el grave problema actual no es económico, sino político, pues el cambio propuesto implica un enfrentamiento con grupos muy poderosos: en primer lugar, nos encontramos con el enorme poder del 1% de la población de más renta (los súper ricos), al cual hay que sumar, en segundo lugar, el 10 ó el 15% de renta superior, es decir, de la clase media de renta alta, la clase media profesional, que está al servicio de aquel 1%, gestionando los aparatos de la reproducción del sistema a través de la difusión de valores, percepciones, creencias, recursos e instituciones que sostienen el dominio político y la hegemonía ideológica cultural en tales países.

Vicenc Navarro en “Las ignoradas causas de la enorme crisis que estamos viviendo

Crítica ao pensamento positivo

Vivimos en sociedade. É posible que o o comportamento individual fose o factor máis determinante do destino das persoas en sociedades primitivas. Pero vivir en sociedade implica está sometidos a unha serie de forzas externas ao individuo e que teñen que ver coas estruturas sociais, políticas e económicas que compoñen dita sociedade. Normas, ao cabo, que rixen as nosas vidas. Non obstante, a preponderancia do paradigma neo-liberal renega completamente da existencia dos factores externos e sitúa sobre o propio individuo a responsabilidade do seu propio destino. Esa ideoloxía vaise manifestar hoxe de forma sibilina en comentarios como “es que no puedes esperar a que te lo den todo hecho”, “la gente está muy mal acostumbra”, “el que o sigue lo consigue”. Esta ideoloxía encontra un gran soporte, primeiro, nos partidos políticos sistémicos. Segundo, en filosofías e terapias como o positivismo e algúns tipos de coach.

“Assembling for Development…” and “Globalization: capitalism and its alternatives”, by Leslie Sklair

First published in 1989, this book focuses upon the phenomenon of export-led industrialisation fuelled by foreign investment and technology. He concentrates on Mexico, where US companies have been taking advantage of inexpensive labour to establish “maquila” factories that assemble US parts for export. Through this detailed study of the maquila industry, Sklair charts the progress from the political imperialism of colonial days to the economic imperialism of today.

The book is the result of his research In the 1980s he carried out field research on the developmental impacts of foreign investment in Ireland, Egypt and (more intensively) China and Mexico. These works provided the material basis for Sociology of the Global System (published 1991, second updated edition in 1995, translated into Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Persian and Korean). A third edition completely revised and updated, of this book, Globalization: capitalism and its alternatives, was published by OUP in 2002, and Portuguese, Arabic and Chinese translations are forthcoming. His book The Transnational Capitalist Class (2001) is now in Chinese.

In this book, Leslie Sklair focuses on alternatives to global capitalism, arguing strongly that there are other futures that retain and encourage the positive aspects of globalization, whilst identifying what is wrong with capitalism. The book continues to offer a concise and illuminating treatment of globalization for all students and academics in understanding how the global system works.* Updated and refocused to consider global capitalism within the context of alternative futures, which encourage the positive aspects of globalization and identify the negative aspects of capitalism* The negative aspects of capitalist globalization are explored in a new critique and the class polarization crisis and the crisis of ecological unsustainability are considered* The book also presents a new analysis of a long-term alternative to global capitalism: the globalization of human rights* Very accessibly written, this book deals with a huge subject in a concise and illuminating way for a student readership.

Bellow are the content of this book. I´m particularly interested in the 8. Capitalist Globalization in Communist and Postcommunist Societies

1. Introduction

2. Thinking about the Global

3. From Development to Globalization

4. Transnational Corporations and Capitalist Globalization

5. Transnational Practices: Corporations, Class, and Consumerism

6. Transnational Practices in the Third World

7. The Culture-Ideology of Consumerism

8. Capitalist Globalization in Communist and Postcommunist Societies

9. Capitalist Globalization in China

10. Challenges to Capitalist Globalization

11. From Capitalist to Socialist Globalization through the Transformation of Human RightsIndex