The social limits of state control: Time, the industrial wage relation and social identity in Stalinist Hungary, 1948-1953.
Journal of Historical Sociology, 12(3) pp. 271–301.
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The article argues that the Stalinist state in post-war Hungary aimed to use the wage relation as a central component of its policies to rationalise the organisation of production in industry. It attempted this by trying to discipline workers through the introduction of a form of "payment by results" which subordinated the workforce to the discipline of "clock time." In complete contrast to state intentions, the planned economy developed its own rhythms and it was to these that the workforce came to respond. These responses led to a high degree of informal conflict on Hungarian shop floors, a process which re-shaped worker identity, making it more particular in its nature. The implication behind this argument is that the Stalinist state was less powerful than many have suggested, and that research should focus more on the economy if the roots of social change under state socialism are to be found.
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