In her introduction to the new edition of Women on the Line, first published in 1982, Miriam Glucksmann notes that it had been written well before the body and embodiment had become an explicit focus of studies of work and employment. However, rereading Women on the Line reminds us that ethnographers have long paid attention to the embodied aspects of work, although few of them have written about them as eloquently as Glucksmann. In the original volume she was able to articulate how it felt to experience herself in relation to her environment, a phenomenological perspective made possible by her adoption of an autoethnographic writing style (a strategy linked to her rejection both of a narrowly academic approach and, in consequence, of the disembodied authorial voice that tended to go with it). Perhaps another reason why Glucksmann was able to write about her working on the line with such sensitivity to the embodiment of the experience is that she was new to assembly line work, so the embodied routines of factory life had not yet been submerged below the level of conscious articulation. It is useful therefore to summarize what she had to say and to think about how we can build on it.
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