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Logistics at work. An ethnographic study of young men at work in the logistics sector

How do goods stay in circulation? How do you keep products on the shelves and packages ordered online arrive at your doorstep? Global capitalism relies on the work done in warehouses and transport, and the management of production chains is a key tool for value creation. Yet how goods move and who moves them is unknown to most. Little research has been done on labour in the sector. This project studies the work of young men in the logistics sector.

The research project will explore three issues:

  • How are goods kept in motion? Is value in logistics work created by physical ability, efficient automation or management?
  • How do automation and increasing technological control affect working practices?
  • How do young men working in the sector reconcile the personal demands of post-Fordist work with more traditional expectations of work as a sign of respectability? The project will provide information on the working conditions of young men and its findings will also help to understand exclusion from work. The project will also provide information on the transformation of work and the automation of the service sector.
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Lotta Haikkola

Doctor of Social Sciences, Docent
Academy Research Fellow
+358 44 4165 300

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