Online talk: 'Scrap-heap' stories: Remembering deindustrialisation and its impacts in Scotland post-1970

17 June 2021, Starts: 17:30, Ends: 18:30

'Scrap-heap' stories: Remembering deindustrialisation and its impacts in Scotland post-1970

Online talk by Professor Arthur McIvor

Organised by UHI Centre for History. Details on how to join from their History Talks Live webpage 

This oral-history based presentation explores the impact of deindustrialization in Scotland post-1970 through the lens of stories told by industrial workers and their families. The presentation draws largely upon interviews conducted in Glasgow and West Central Scotland and focuses upon the gendered and embodied narratives of those directly witnessing and experiencing these ruptures from an industrial world of blue collar work.

McIvor’s particular interest is in the health impacts of this transition, so the paper explores the consequences for mental health of loss of industrial work, including the effects on gendered work identities of women and men, and the impact on families. McIvor argues that the oral (and other) evidence for Scotland largely supports the ‘ruination’ thesis that dominates the deindustrialization literature. However, there are a significant minority of voices that suggest a more complex and nuanced picture, including what might be termed ‘liberation’ or ‘escape’ narratives telling of adaptation, opportunities and positive aspects of this troubled transition from the industrial to the post-industrial.

Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands (ARCH), The Goods Shed, The Old Station, Strathpeffer, Ross-Shire, Scotland IV14 9DH
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