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Volume 58, Supplement 1

Misconduct, Malfunction and Dissatisfaction. A Social History of the Organisation of Complaint-Handling in Telephone Services
Benoit Giry

The article’s subject is the genesis and development of complaint-handling practices in France’s telephone services. It shows that, far from being a new facet of contemporary production models, complaint-handling has its roots in a long historical tradition in the organisation of telephone services. Looking back to three important moments in the history of telecommunications (the telephone crisis at the beginning of the century, the decade of the “telephone modernisation plan” that began in 1974, and the introduction of the “new legal and commercial framework” in the 1990s), we suggest that complaints performed different organisational functions, which shaped complaint-handling in different ways and assigned varying meanings to the complaint. The text depicts the work of complaint-handling as both influencing and reflecting the changes in a public administration that is now a commercial firm. Beyond its descriptive interest, the article raises the question of the management of conflicts with customers and their influence on labour and its organisation.

Complaint ; Telephone Departments ; Complaint-Handling ; Organisation ; Market ; Client.

Paru initialement dans Sociologie du travail 57 (3), Prix du jeune auteur.
Traduction : John Crisp
DOI : 10.1016/j.soctra.2016.09.022

The Work of Agricultural Advisers. Between Technical Instruction and Political Mobilisation (1950-1990)
Sylvain Brunier

Drawing on a socio-historical analysis of the work of agricultural advisers, this article explores the conduct of modernisation policy following the Second World War. The advisers played a crucial role in this, by recommending new methods of production and encouraging farmers to mobilise as a group. They relied on technical know-how as well as their practical knowledge of the agricultural milieu. Above all, they showed huge ingenuity in demonstrating their devotion to their farmer clients, without evading the framework set by their employers. These capacities for adaptation so essential to their profession were initially highly valued. Then, from the 1970s onwards, they attracted criticism for their failure to conform to the new imperatives of bureaucratisation, specialisation and commercialisation in agricultural advice.

Advice ; Modernisation ; Recommendation ; Mobilisation ; Mètis ; Agriculture

Paru initialement dans Sociologie du travail 57 (1).
Traduction : John Crisp
DOI : 10.1016/j.soctra.2016.09.021

Participatory, Self-Managed, Collective Building Projects. When Every Act Is Politicised
Geneviève Pruvost

Advocates of a practical utopia, committed to the search for consistency between ecological theories and practices, explore the notions of “participation” and of “work” from a critical perspective on industrial development. Work is then understood as the adoption of a political stance (ecological, libertarian). In the world of militant eco-construction, we study variations in the organisation of tasks in participatory, self-managed and collective building projects, whether in legal frameworks such as worker cooperatives (SCOP), or in the conflicting setting of a new airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes.

Division of labour ; Ecology ; Activism ; Eco-Construction ; Self-Management ; Autonomous Resistance Zones (ZAD).

Paru initialement dans Sociologie du travail 57 (1), "Participer. Pour quoi faire ?".
Traduction : Christopher Hinton
DOI : 10.1016/j.soctra.2016.09.023