Globalization and the Dynamics of Work Markets

Globalization and the Dynamics of Work Markets

Kristian Feigelson (Sorbonne University, France)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6190-5.ch013
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Abstract

In proposing an analysis of the professionalization and the occupations of cinema based on the discoveries of interactionist sociology, The Filmic Factory defines film practices in concrete terms. Taking a look at the other side of the scenery allows us to grasp the interior processes at work in the fabrication of a film. How does one describe these different categories of audiovisual and film occupations over a long period of time through the lens of more complex professional constructions at the intersection of French public policy since 1936 and current evolutions in a market based on intermittent employment? On the basis of numerous inquiries in various studios (France, Central Europe, United States, India, Russia, and others), this chapter proposes a new perspective on this specific market in the context of globalization in order to better understand the anonymous history of those who have created cinema.
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Introduction

The Relevance of an Organizational Model

How can we explore beyond a socio-economic understanding of reality, based on organizational models of technicians, to decipher the forms of mediation practiced in the professional domain around the pivotal role of the production manager?

How to understand the real economy of the world of work which unfolds in globalized work markets? This economy moves relatively uniformly or similarly across different work markets, thanks to a strong international tradition unique to careers in cinema. This system of a cinema without borders is based on an already venerable tradition (Cosandey and Albera, 1995).

How can we comprehend the whole process made up of fragmentary observations that come from a great variety of situations in which these shared forms of work are appropriated during studio shooting? A film set is a space created for different uses and from a world of differentiated activity (Cohen,1986). In the framework of institutionalized management, paradoxically, the set resembles the workshop layout of an atelier (Moulin,1983). Although the set constitutes the essential locus of redistributed disseminated information, we may ask ourselves how this information circulates within the micronetworked filmic enterprise.

This perspective of the “reproducible organizational model” does not claim to detail exhaustively the entire branch’s functioning, but it could help to explain certain aspects of the professionalization process in the cinema and more generally in the work market.

Workers’ groups, no matter the studio visited, mainly traffic in the cultural model of traditional cinema, which remains potent if not mythic. The perspective adopted here delineates the particularities of certain labor markets and updates certain endogenous determining factors, as well as exogenous ones intrinsic to the labor mark and the ferocious competition in film making

This perspective helps us understand the dynamic of activity in the cinema industry by describing the logic of these different interactions in film shoots. Can we understand in greater depth the organization of this establishment and the cyclical yet variable interpenetration of work markets? In France, an understanding of technical occupations’ evolution, based on the public policy regulating them, is necessary context. The history of these occupations is, in fact, multifaceted (institutional, political, economic aspects, etc.) -- unlike in Hollywood, where the deciphering of activities today is linked differently to the production of massively delocalized films, or Bollywood, an alternative model with overabundant sources of labor and an essentially national market (Crisp, 1994).

The collective aspect of cinema and its workflow according to project have a direct impact on the division of labor and on the symbolic hierarchy of different participants in the chain of command. From a functional point of view, the division of labor seems relatively flexible on the set, demanding a certain versatility from the individuals chosen by the production manager.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Temporary Workers: Temporary workers referred to as seasonal employees or temps.

The Filmic Factory: The Filmic Factory defines film practices in concrete terms.

Work Markets: A market in which employers search for employees and employees search for jobs.

Production Networks: It is a trade network in the world. With a modest start in the electronics and clothing industries, multinational production networks have gradually evolved and spread into many industries such as sports footwear, automobiles, televisions and radio receivers, sewing machines, office equipment, power and machine tools, cameras and watches, and printing and publishing.

Cinema: The art or business of making films.

Delocalization: To free or remove from the restrictions of locality.

Globalization: Globalization implies the opening of local and nationalistic perspectives to a broader outlook of an interconnected and interdependent world with free transfer of capital, goods, and services across national frontiers.

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