The Norwegian society has a long maritime tradition. As a result, much of the macro-economic success that has been achieved can be viewed in relation to activities at sea, and located offshore we find a substantial part of the Norwegian labour force.
In other words, the Norwegian shipping industry is not only important for the economic growth. For many people, it represents their profession and subsequent livelihood.
By tapping into how offshore labour is organised around set(s) of internal norms, challenges that arises as the workers are geographically distant from management ashore, and on professional organisation, this project will shed light on the different arenas maritime workers have to affect and shape their working lives.
The project is an anthropological study of both the social and political scope of the maritime world through the everyday work by the people that make up the industry. As such, the methodological point of departure is ethnographic fieldwork on a vessel engaged in the global chains of supplies that characterise modern shipping industry.
Despite the importance of the shipping industry, it has remained largely invisible in the social sciences discussions of professions.
By exploring social relationships on board, together with maritime labour politics and the different arenas of labour union organisation- and representation, the project is interested in the processes of professionalization the maritime industry has, and is, undergoing; the role of their profession, both subjective and objective reflections, together with an analysis of how labour is performed and conducted off shore.
External supervisor: Elisabeth Schober (UiO)