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5 Looking for the Working Class

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Socialisme ou Barbarie's efforts to engage practically with the problems of organisation, politics and gaining wider access to worker experience through the medium of a 'worker newspaper'. It overviews the Correspondence project, which Socialisme ou Barbarie took as the model. Based in Detroit, the Correspondence collective operated in a field of cultural production quite different from the one at whose margins Socialisme ou Barbarie found itself. The chapter examines the relations between Correspondence and Socialisme ou Barbarie. It then analyses Tribune Ouvrière, the problems it encountered and its failure to become a 'worker newspaper'. It is based on reading and situating accounts of micro-political conflict in semi-skilled shops at Billancourt. The chapter moves from these readings to explore the cultural divisions that separated the realm of politics from the realm of everyday experience and the effects of the routinisation of political language.

Keywords: Billancourt; political language; Socialisme ou Barbarie; Tribune Ouvrière; worker newspaper



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