A Society Carried by Ships

Day of the Seafarer 2012

25 June is the international day of the seafarer.  Did you know that almost 1.5 million people worldwide work on ships? Or that over 90% of all goods we use have at one point been carried on board of a ship? And that if ships were to disappear, in just 24 hours life as we know it would grind to a halt? Take a minute to read something about the profession of seafarers today. Here are a few suggestions:

The latest (2010) recent data on the world’s maritime labour force (the BIMCO/ISF Manpower Update, by the University of Warwick)

12 reasons why seafarers quit their jobs, article at www.marineinsight.com

SIRC, the Seafarers International Research Centre at the Cardiff School of social sciences, especially their magazine The Sea, published by  published by The Mission to Seafarers, and also their excellent study of Fatigue at Sea (about which we wrote a while back)

More about the Day of the Seafarers on the webpage of IMO, the International Maritime Organisation.

Two conferences dealing with maritime issues in the next few months:

International Relations, Capitalism and the Sea: The Historical Sociology of Oceans and Inner Seas, BISA Historical Sociology Working Group Workshop
Birkbeck College, University of London 16 September 2013

ESA (European Sociological Association) 11th Conference in Torino, 28-31 August 2013, stream RS09, Maritime Sociology

and a song

and some photos taken by a cargo ship captain:


Photo: Capt. I.S.Kremakov, 2009 ©


Photo: Capt. I.S.Kremakov, 2009 ©


Photo: Capt. I.S.Kremakov, 2009 ©

Categories: The Idle Ethnographer, Uncategorized

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