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Indian seafarers’ experiences of ill-treatment onboard ships

Dutt, Manasi 2015. Indian seafarers’ experiences of ill-treatment onboard ships. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis investigates seafarers’ experiences of ill-treatment onboard ships. A sociological approach to ill-treatment is adopted, with a focus on characteristics of the work environment onboard which affect seafarers’ experiences of and responses to ill-treatment. A qualitative approach was employed to understand seafarers’ perceptions of ill-treatment. Semi-structured interviews based on the Negative Acts Questionnaire were conducted with seafarers and managerial personnel from one multinational and one Indian company. The seafarers were drawn from all ranks. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that seafarers’ perceptions, experiences and responses to ill-treatment were heavily influenced by characteristics of the work environment, including industry and company norms such as short-term contracts, the hierarchy, onboard, distance management and HR policies and training. Seafarers encountering ill-treatment can choose to exit their situation, raise their voice or remain silent. The findings showed that while support structures such as grievance procedures and union membership existed for seafarers experiencing ill-treatment, the majority of seafarers chose to remain silent because of complex interactions between a variety of workplace features. Fears included job insecurity, concern for career advancement, fear of blacklisting and personal financial concerns. Those seafarers that did choose to escape their situations found that there could be repercussions on their finances and their career ambitions, or that exercising their voice resulted in a reshuffle of seafarers but nothing of import changed. The professional socialisation process and culture onboard the ship are very important in influencing seafarers’ perceptions of ill-treatment, and play a role in the occurrence of preventative behaviour and use of coping mechanisms. In addition, the industry norms of short-term contracts, the purported manning crisis and a race to the bottom mentality force seafarers to be highly insecure in their jobs and encourage them to accept their situation until they can escape it.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
Funders: Nippon Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2023 15:00

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