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New work practices, new literacies and new identities : a shift towards a "new work culture" in a soft drinks factory in Maputo

By Domingos Buque

Abstract

Bibliography: leaves 109-113.This thesis resulted from a study of the work practices and literacy practices performed by the front-line workers of a soft drinks factory in Maputo province, in Mozambique. The purpose of this study was to (1) identify the literacy practices attached to the work among the front-line workers on the production floor, and to (2) examine such practices in order to determine how the front-line workers respond to the demands of the work as to the literacy practices as well as the accompanying social practices and working identities related to these practices. The study focuses on literacy at work in the light of the 'new work culture' and it was strongly influenced by the works of Prinsloo & Scholtz (2000) on one hand, and Hull et al (1996) on the other, whose meta-categories of literate functions I use recurrently along my report. The study was conducted in an ethnographic approach over two months observing workers and listening to them while they were carrying out their tasks in the factory. "Work events" (Hull et al. 1996) and "literacy events" (Heath. 1983) were recorded in detailed field notes. Interviews with workers from different sectors on the shop floor were tape-recorded or registered on paper. Another source of data was the range of documents collected in the company. The information gathered was continually analyzed throughout the process of data collection. In this period. hypotheses were developed, discussed and tested, to confirm and disconfirm what was found in the workplace as to the phenomena around literacy and work. The study shows that effects of globalisation as to workplace have reached Mozambique. Front-line workers in this particular industry are in the process of shifting to the 'new work order', as their changing work practices come along with new literacy practices and new working identities

Topics: Education
Publisher: School of Education
Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:open.uct.ac.za:11427/8613

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