An Algerian matrix?

Activist trajectories and recompositions among workers, from the independence struggle to the unskilled workers' strikes of 1968-1975
By Laure Pitti


This article focuses on the hypothesis of an Algerian genealogy that gives some explanations on workers commitments into strikes and démonstrations in France from 1968 to 1975. By studying anticolonialist workers involvement, the one of French as well as Algerian, in the Renault factory of Billancourt, this article shows how the struggle for Algerian Independence lias given birth to spécial kinds of sociability and long lasting militant practices in France, specially how this struggle lias created a spécial workers consciousness and lias put the stress on their autonomy which will be observed in the strikes of May-June 1968 and of the first part of 1970's led by Algerian low skilled workers, at Billancourt and elsewhere. As to the impact of the Algerian independence war on the French workers movement, the article argues on the long lasting divisions in the militant groups, usually dated from 1968, and on the whole notion of "génération" in the social history of work.
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