Crumbling smokestacks, shuttered furnaces, and abandoned quarries are all striking representations of deindustrialization. These and other images construct a discourse whose ideological undertones, far from confining them to the realm of symbolic nostalgia, have profound effects on contemporary societies. In 2015, within the European Labor History Network (ELHN), a working group on historical cultures of labor under conditions of deindustrialization (working group) began to critically study and reflect on this nascent theme. It grew from a small group of researchers to a network of academics across Europe and beyond. Though the study of deindustrialization is not new, contemporary work offers insights into the continuing struggle over the meaning of classical industrial work and its loss, revealing unresolved social, cultural, and political tensions. Yet, existing representations of deindustrialization have been criticized as “smokestack nostalgia.” In order to chart how we understand contemporary industrial decay in our political, cultural, and economic climate, the working group explores representations and more-than representations of loss and regeneration in deindustrialized regions, primarily in Europe but widening to include a growing global network.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management