Trading health for money: agential struggles in the (re) configuration of subjectivity, the body and pain among construction workers

Jeppe Zielinski Nguyen Ajslev, Jeppe Lykke Møller, Roger Persson, Lars Louis Andersen

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Construction work is physically demanding and often associated with bodily pain. This article presents a study of construction workers’ practices of using and relating to their bodies at work through an agential realist framework for analysing the (re)configuration of the workers’ embodied subjectivity. The analysis draws on interviews with 32 Danish construction workers as well as brief observations. The article shows how ‘trading health for money’ becomes a mode for maintaining positive social, occupational and masculine identity among construction workers. Furthermore, it shows how the agency of the body is overruled by the intra-acting agencies of productivity, collegiality, job security and masculine working-class identity. Finally, it shows an instability in this configuration of masculine working-class identity that leaves room for a focus on the body.
TidsskriftWork, employment and society
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)887-903
StatusUdgivet - 2017

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