Line inspectors. Ethnography of the gestures of public officials in abattoirs

By Amandine Gautier

Abattoir inspectors are required to use their bodies in following the movements and gestures of those working on the slaughter line. However, their movements, which resemble those of the abattoir workers, involve a strong political dimension. The gesture, constrained by the abattoir and its characteristics, lies at the heart of the power of public officials and their professional identity: the inscription of the bodies of civil servants on the slaughter lines questions what remains of the state. This article shows that an analysis of these professional gestures is particularly valuable in understanding the meaning that these public officials give to their work. By examining the stakes of the gesture and its adaptation to local contexts while carrying out a governmental mission, it argues in favor of a multilevel analysis of the professional gesture.

  • Professional gestures
  • Abattoir
  • Public sector
  • Inspection
  • Multilevel analysis
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