Competitive Merchants and Class Struggle in Newfoundland

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... The power relationship creates interdependence between shipowners and crew members, as well as between crew members. On the other hand, Neis (1981) study of the fishing community in Newfoundland found that the pattern of class struggle was influenced by the power of the fishers and investors who lent capital to the fishers (Neis in Kinseng, 2014: 33). Plalteau (2016) states if workers are subject to intense organized pressure from below -probably because it is supported by broader political power. ...
Relations between humans and social groups always involve power. Power exists in all fields of life; it includes the ability to govern and also make decisions that directly influence the actions of others. This study aims to determine how social interaction and power practices between the crew and shipowner; and between crews on small vessels. This research was conducted with a descriptive-qualitative approach using a case study strategy. The study was conducted in Muarareja Urban Village, West Tegal Subdistrict, Tegal City, Central Java Province. The results showed that small scale fishers in Muarareja Urban Village, Tegal City can be categorized as daily fishers and weekly fishers. The practice of power between the owner and the daily crew on the small vessels has an exploitative relationship dimension. This relationship is indicated by the compulsion of the shipowner to the crew to keep fishing even though the weather is bad or during a low season. The practice of power between the shipowner and the crew was strongly influenced by the shipowner's debt to the Bank or middleman, which must be paid every month. On the other hand, the practice of power exercised by the weekly fishers to the shipowner is by being able to resign and choose to work with other shipowners easily. If the crew feels uncomfortable working on a ship, they will look for a new shipowner.
As previously described, some sociologists such as Kohn, Wright, and Bourdieu, believe that social class is multidimensional by nature. Wright (1987), for example, uses three dimensions to define class structure, namely as an asset to the means of production, an asset to the organization, and an asset to “credentials”, such as formal education. In this book, the fishing classes are determined by ownership of the means of production.
This chapter will briefly explain several basic concepts to use in conducting class analysis. Next, it will explain class and social conflicts among fishermen in Indonesia in general. However, before discussing the class analysis, the following is an explanation in relation to conflict itself.
From the results of the study on class and class conflict between fishermen in Balikpapan the conclusion is as follows:
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Some argue that one of the key factors contributing to marine resource and environmental degradation, as well as to the poverty of fishers in Indonesia was the centralized resource management system. Since the start of the era of reform in 1998, Indonesia has experienced many fundamental changes, including decentralization of fisheries management.This paper assess impacts of the decentraization on fishers living condition and their struggle. This study shows that decentralization in Indonesia, including decentralization of fishery resources management, has not brought any significant improvement to fishers’ living conditions. Thus, I argue that what is important is not the decentralization per se, but those who are in power. If the people in power put more emphasize in pursuing economic growth and their own prosperity without paying enough attention to the environment and poor people, decentralization would not bring any significant improvement to the environment and poor people such as fishers. In that case, decentarlization simply moves the locus of power from central government to local government.
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