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Extractive industries and changing means of rural livelihood: patterns of proletarianization and labour processes in Soma coal basin

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2019
Çelik, Coşk
This dissertation analyses the wider set of social relations and processes behind the labour processes and transformation of the means of livelihood in Soma coal basin. Rising significance of the coal industry in general and coal extracted in Soma in particular for the Turkish economy from the mid 2000s onwards in order to overcome the problem of huge dependency on imported resources in electricity production and rising incentives to the private sector investments in coal mining accordingly coincided with the dispossession and proletarianization processes of the petty commodity producers in agriculture stemming from the neoliberal transformation of agriculture. In this dissertation, the relationship between extractive investments and the transformation of the rural means of livelihood is analysed with reference to the three interrelated theoretical discussions and their relevance for the case of Soma. First, labour supply in the coal pits of Soma and formation of the local labour market is elaborated with reference to the processes of dispossession and proletarianization of the tobacco producer families and to the labour migration to Soma. Secondly, as the study is built upon a gendered analysis, transformation of the sexual division of labour in the basin in productive and reproductive work in the form of feminisation of agricultural labour and intensification of reproductive labour of women is examined. Finally, labour processes and labour control regimes in the coal pits and at the local level are analysed.