664.4 The appearance and disappearance of “absenteeism” as a problema of health and safety at work (Argentina, 1930-2011)

Saturday, August 4, 2012: 11:39 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Victoria HAIDAR , Sociology, CONICET, Argentina
For much of the twentieth century, one of the most discussed topics in the scientific literature devoted to occupational medicine, hygiene and safety, was absenteeism. At present, however, this issue has disappeared from the discourse on work-health relation, or it is addressed in a very marginal way. This paper seeks to address a set of questions that arise in finding such a transformation. So, first, seeks to establish the discursive and non-discursive conditions that made possible the emergence, by the 30s of the XX century, of the “absenteeism” as a problem for a whole range of knowledge, authorities and institutions. Seconds, it seeks to elucidate the reasons under which this problem took so prominent place in the health policy of Peronism government, and more generally to understand its significance in the context of a society obsessed with the issue of productivity. Thirdly, it is proposed to explain how an object once widely problematized (classified, described, measured, prevented, etc.) was gradually declining in the final decades of the twentieth century until it practically disappears of scientific discourse and public policy. Finally, questions about a possible reverberation of the problem of absenteeism in the speeches of the government of President C. Fernandez de Kirchner, on the significance of union strikes (and thus, the “collective and concerted” absence of workers from their jobs) to the productivity of Argentina’s economy.

The approach to research combines the tools of the sociology of work and historical sociology of labor’s knowledge (“labor sciences”). From a methodological point of view, access to data is accomplished through content analysis of a simple of documents consists of scientific articles, labor and health policies, statements by government authorities for the period 1930-2000.