Dawn Lyon

Dawn Lyon is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, UK. She studies work identity, the social organisation of different work spaces, the embodied labour of fishmongers and fish merchants, and young people’s imagined futures.


October 4, 2011 A Long Day

It’s the afternoon rush hour on the London tube. There are at least three people asleep in the row of seats opposite me, the physical impact of work (I’m assuming) visible in their faces and postures. It’s already been a long day.

August 25, 2011 Tescos at Night

Tuesday night in North London. The pub is already shut despite 24-hour drinking. We head to a Tescos Extra store, bright lights and bustle whatever the hour. Late evening shopping has peaked but the place is still busy. It’s workers rather than shoppers that predominate now. In the first isle, music is blaring, helping to…

March 5, 2011 Work Redone

A few months ago, I posted a piece on the website about work undone. A fire destroyed some trees, a fence, a shed and a car opposite my mother’s house as the neighbourhood watched. After a while, we got used to seeing the blackened fence (what was left of it) and the exposed trunk of…

January 3, 2011 Working in the Family Tradition

‘When I first came to the caffè as a child, I thought it was a fantastic place!’ Davide recounts. ‘There were sweet jars on the bar, like those ones in the cupboard now, and ice-cream just over there where that counter is…’ Forty years on, Davide is running the place. He’s the third generation of…

December 14, 2010 Catching Tuna at Carloforte

‘There’s blood in the water for months,’ explains the tour guide at the Museo Civico di Carolforte. She’s been telling us about the mattanza, the traditional killing of blue-fin tuna (tonno rosso) in May and June each year as the fish swim past the Isola di San Pietro off the west coast of Sardinia on…

December 6, 2010 A Long Night and an Early Start: ‘La piccola pesca’ of Cagliari

Wednesday, 1 December I wandered down to the docks in Caglari tonight at around 6pm. Walking down Largo Carlo Felice, the main road from Piazza Yenne (sort of the centre of town), you know the water is there because of the view of the ferries (and on some days, cruise liners) above the horizon. Alongside…

October 29, 2010 Thirty Years on from ‘Women on the Line’: Researching Gender and Work, Panel Report from Work, Employment and Society Conference, Brighton, September 2010

The republication in 2009 of Miriam Glucksmann’s ethnography of factory work, Women on the Line (originally published in 1982 under the pseudonym, Ruth Cavendish) was the starting point for a panel discussion on researching gender and work at the Work, Employment and Society Conference, which took place in Brighton in September 2010. I approached Miriam…

October 27, 2010 The Visibility and Invisibility of Washing

I’ve been giving a lot of thought to washing lately. I don’t have a washing machine in my apartment in Cagliari which means that something I usually take for granted – being able to wash and dry my clothes at home and whenever I like – imposes itself as an activity to find a solution…

October 9, 2010 Making Work

I am currently staying in the city of Cagliari in the south of Sardinia where I’ve noticed street vendors, many of whom are young(ish) men from Senegal, seeking to direct people into parking spaces (which are often scarce in the city). Apparently, this isn’t primarily about parking. I’m told it’s a tactic to generate sales,…

October 5, 2010 The Sound of the Sell: San Benedetto Fish Market, Cagliari

My first taste of the fish market in Cagliari was just that. It seemed to me that as soon as we got out of the car parked next to the market the air quite literally tasted of fish. Down a few steps into the fish section of the purpose-built covered Mercato San Benedetto, we were…