Taking advantage of the established order?

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Political socializations at work in a luxury hotel
By Amélie Beaumont

English

Based on an ethnographic study of a luxury hotel and its employees, this article contributes to the study of the workplace in the formation of the relationship to politics. I analyze two socialization matrices identified in this fieldwork. The first one is powerful and rooted in work and career organization: the attachment to the traditional functioning of the sector imbues employees with the conservative dispositions of the established order. These deeply internalized worldviews, however, are rarely converted into explicit political positions. The second matrix is the result of the union’s work to politicize employment relations. Employees’ sense of vulnerability to changes imposed by management leads them to support the local union, despite their reluctance to join the unions. But the contesting political opinions defended by the union conflict with the dispositions maintained by the first matrix. The respective influence of these two socializations ultimately depends on the work context and employees’ previous trajectories, generating opposition between workers but also tensions at the individual level.

Keywords

  • political socialization
  • unionism
  • conservatism
  • worldviews
  • social space
  • hotel industry
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