Success and Unionism among Indonesian Factory Workers in Tangerang and Cikarang

Giacomo Tabacco


The article discusses the meaning attached to the ideas of success and personal development among a group of migrant factory workers and unionists in two satellite towns on the outskirts of Jakarta, Indonesia. In particular, it looks closely at the life experiences of a factory worker, two unemployed migrants and a union leader and it illustrates their narratives of hard work and “luck” in the quest for personal growth. It explores the various social networks that sustain life among factory workers while focusing specifically on the role of unionism as a symbolic and material resource to navigate through the precariousness and hardship of salary work and unemployment.


anthropology, migration, success, factory work, unionism, Indonesia

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