Soma’da madencilerin risk anlamlandırmalarında kurumsal ve yerel bilginin üretim dinamikleri

This study examines how miners use different sets of social knowledge to make sense of the risks in the mine where the 301 miners lost their lives in Soma on May 13, 2014, and to deal with similar ongoing risks. The study is based on data gathered during a field work in Soma in June and September 2015. A set of social knowledge refers to the collective meaning of a group as a whole (Berger and Luckmann, 1966). This set contains embedded meanings for the associations, roles, and identities of group members. In this study, it is argued that the access of miners to institutional knowledge sets, especially on the topic of job safety, is very limited. First, the production pressures and the existence of a large reserve workforce lead the management not to implement or to neglect training and auditing of occupational health and safety; and consequently the miners are not adequately trained before they start full-time work. Secondly, the trade union, which has to represent the miners before the management, cooperates with and avoids questioning the management in terms of their non/compliance with technical expertise and safety legislation. Thirdly, occupational health and safety specialists and professional associations, including the bar associations and other unions, cannot effectively inspect and cannot transfer their technical, legal and juridical knowledge – qualified as institutional knowledge – and experiences to the miners. Therefore, the institutional knowledge accessible through different sources are open to the miners only to the extent that the management permits. While the miners are largely deprived of the institutional knowledge, they do their work by taking advantage of a wide range of local knowledge that they have acquired through their daily work and relationships. This set of local knowledge contains the experiences, knowledge, concerns, habits and attitudes that miners have accumulated from past to present. This set is the basic source of knowledge that miners can use to resist the management. However, this knowledge is recognized as technically and legally as a legitimate source neither by the management nor by the relevant authorities of the state. This provides the basis for the management to ignore the legitimate demands of the miners about occupational safety. Hierarchy and tension between institutional and local knowledge sets, and the restraint and monopolization of the use of the institutional knowledge by the management result in the continuation of unsafe working conditions.
Citation Formats
Ç. Topal, F. U. Beşpınar Akgüner, and Ç. Topal, “Soma’da madencilerin risk anlamlandırmalarında kurumsal ve yerel bilginin üretim dinamikleri,” pp. 371–402, 2018, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: