Dancing with the machines

by Dimitra Kofti

Post Doctoral Fellow

Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology

Industrial machinery generates not only products but also human relationships. Solidarities and disputes are related to the process of production and the tempo. My study focuses on how relationships among employees as well as between humans and machines meet around the conveyor belt. A fascinating aspect is that even in the most repetitive and exploitative settings, workers find ways to be creative, to anthropomorphize the machines as ‘dancers’ and to imagine the tempo as music.

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