Accepted paper:

"The fish became more expansive than poultry!": reshaping of labor and local economy in postsocialist Danube Delta

Authors:

Bogdan Iancu (National School of Political Studies and Public Administration Bucharest / Museum of Romanian Peasant )

Paper short abstract:

Building on the ethnographic work of Romanian scientist Grigore Antipa (1916), as well as on recent ethnographies of postsocialist Danube Delta the goal of this paper is to explore the range of anxieties in the process of remaking the discipline of the post-socialist local workforce.

Paper long abstract:

The local population's access to resources was reshaped in the Danube Delta by an increasing set of regulations on local fishing derived from the postsocialist status of natural reservation (Biosphere Reserve). Paired with the shape of tourism or large private holdings in some of these villages, this factor triggered a process of structural transformation of local economy, households and of the locals' everyday practices towards a territory managed to a great extent by a large number of regional and national institutions. Building on the ethnographic work of Romanian scientist Grigore Antipa (1916), as well as on recent ethnographies of postsocialist Danube Delta, I will depict the range of anxieties in the process of remaking the discipline of the post-socialist workforce through national and European regulations and policies: 1. The changes in the process of fishing, the new routines and disciplines of work (including the processes which reconfigure the worker's skills), and the new market-shaped worker subjectivities; 2. The processes that reshape the navigation of local territory. During the presentation, I will focus on the social history of fishing and related occupations and on some of the complex new meanings of the natural reservation status of the territory: mapping and valuing available resources after the dramatic reconfiguration and decrease of industrial fishing. By using ethnographic data my goal is to scrutinize the manner in which the local population of Danube Delta copes with the various new constraints regarding fishing, by the (im)possibility of access in various areas of the reservation and by the continuous mirroring with the "forbidden lands": Biosphere Reserve and concession areas.

panel Rur004
Market-oriented global discourses and the reshaping of rural spaces