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Constructing Industrial Pasts: Heritage, Historical Culture and Identity in Regions Undergoing Structural Economic Transformation

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Volume 38

Making Sense of History

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Constructing Industrial Pasts

Heritage, Historical Culture and Identity in Regions Undergoing Structural Economic Transformation

Edited by Stefan Berger

329 pages, 20 illus., 5 tables, bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78920-290-8 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (September 2019)

eISBN 978-1-78920-291-5 eBook

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This collection of well-focused essays takes an original approach to a subject of very wide interest. It has substantial cross-disciplinary appeal.” • Chris Wrigley, Nottingham University

Constructing Industrial Pasts is a timely volume on post-industrial history and the processes and politics of remembrance. It covers a richly detailed set of case studies and makes an invaluable contribution to the field.” • Denis Byrne, Western Sydney University


Since the 1960s, nations across the “developed world” have been profoundly shaped by deindustrialization. In regions in which previously dominant industries faced crises or have disappeared altogether, industrial heritage offers a fascinating window into the phenomenon’s cultural dimensions. As the contributions to this volume demonstrate, even as forms of industrial heritage provide anchors of identity for local populations, their meanings remain deeply contested, as both radical and conservative varieties of nostalgia intermingle with critical approaches and straightforward apologias for a past that was often full of pain, exploitation and struggle.

Stefan Berger is Professor of Social History and directs the Institute for Social Movements at the Ruhr University Bochum. He is also Chairman of the Foundation History of the Ruhr and Honorary Professor at Cardiff University in the UK. Before taking up his current position in Germany in 2011, he held the position of Professor of Modern German and Comparative European History at the University of Manchester.

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present Cultural Studies (General) Heritage Studies


List of Figures, Maps, and Tables

Introduction: Preconditions for the Making of an Industrial Past – Comparative Perspectives
Stefan Berger

Chapter 1. ‘Sooty Manchester’- (Re)Presenting an Urban-Industrial Landscape
Paul Pickering

Chapter 2. Where is ‘Red Clydeside’? Industrial Heritage, Working Class Culture and Memory in the Glasgow Region
Arthur McIvor

Chapter 3. Industrial Heritage as Place-making: The Case of Wales
Bella Dicks

Chapter 4. The Steel Industry in Welsh History and Heritage
Louise Miskell

Chapter 5. Cornish Mining Heritage and Cornish Identity: Images, Representations and Narratives
Hilary Orange

Chapter 6. Industrial Heritage and the Remaking of Class Identity – Are We All Middle Class Now?
Laurajane Smith

Chapter 7. The Agents of Industrial Heritage in the Midst of Structural Transformation of the Latrobe Valley, Australia’
Erik Eklund

Chapter 8. ‘Hardly a Cause for Tears’: Job Insecurity and Occupational Psychology Culture in Italy - Oral Narratives from the Falck Steelworks in Sesto San Giovanni (Milan)
Roberta Garruccio

Chapter 9. Between Dream and Nightmare: Political Conventions of the Industrial Past in the North of France
Marion Fontaine

Chapter 10. Memory Culture and Identity Constructions in the Ruhr Valley in Germany
Stefan Berger and Jana Golombek

Chapter 11. Sounds of Decline. Industrial Echoes in Asturian Music
Rubén Vega

Chapter 12. The Coal-Environment Nexus: How Nostalgic Identity Burdens Heritage in Romania’s Jiu Valley
David A. Kideckel

Chapter 13. A Special Kind of Cultural Heritage - The Remembrance of Workers’ Life in Contemporary Hungary – Case Study of Ózd
Tibor Valuch

Chapter 14. Ruins for Politics: Selling Industrial Heritage in Postsocialist China’s Rustbelt
Tong Lam

Chapter 15. The Heritage of the Chinese Eastern Railway: Symbol of Colonization and International Cooperation
Zhao Xin and Qu Xiaofan

Conclusion: Narrativisations of an Industrial Past – Labour, the Environment and the Construction of Space in Comparative Perspective
Stefan Berger


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