Globalizing Low Labor: A Collective Ethnography

Investor logo


Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper reconsiders theories of globalization of media production by focusing on mediation processes within global production networks. Transnational teams on "runaway" productions shot in Prague represent the highest-income end for the local production community; however, their Czech members have relatively low creative control, job security, and prospects of upward mobility. This paper is based on a project whereby more than 100 student interns--while working as assistants on film sets--were simultaneously conducting participant observation and keeping field diaries. In follow-up seminars, we worked together to identify key issues of transnational production cultures: tensions between different nationalities, knowledge transfer, distributed creativity, etc. Such collective ethnography challenges traditional concepts of fieldwork and allows for valorizing "provincial" and multi-focal articulations of the production culture. University-educated interns potentially disrupted the industrial ideology of "dues-paying" (Hill), and their observations opened a revisionist perspective on global capital's interactions with local creative labour.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.