Apprentices and class culture: the case of apparel and metalworking workers in İstanbul /

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Political Science and Public Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2014

Thesis Language: English

Student: Ayla Ezgi Akyol



The focus of the thesis is to discuss class culture on the basis of the apprentices working in apparel and metalworking sectors by analyzing the structural and ideological aspects that affect the formation and non-formation of class culture. Basing on the field research conducted with 21 apprentices working in two sectors via semi-structured interviews, the thesis analyzes class contradiction between the apprentices that have different laboır processes and the aspects both providing and corroding the basis for class consciousness while trying to understand what kind of cultural references support that process. The study traces the relations through which class identity is constituted. The thesis argues that paternalist relations as an element of artisan and mater-apprentice relationship basing on small sized enterprises obstructs the formation of class consciousness defied within the framework class interest as well as the solidarity and unionization among the workers. The prevailing class hierarchies turn to be consent via the future expectations of the apprentices in terms of professional education and setting up their own enterprise. Apprentices in two sectors differ from each other in terms of the perception of work and class experience in the meaning of the experience of flexible working conditions because of different labour-capital intensity. Despite such differences, the thesis argues that class identity is constituted basing on the deprivation of respectability via class confrontations in parallel with the exclusion of lower classes from educational, cultural and symbolic fields as a result of impoverishment and dispossession processes in late capitalism. .