Interest in the history of the workplace is on the rise. Recent work in this area has combined traditional methods and theories of social history with new approaches and new questions. It constitutes a ‘topical contact zone’, a particularly dynamic field of research at the junction of social history, history of occupational health and safety, history of technology and the industrial environment. This book focuses on the new approaches in this important and growing area and their possible range of influence. These new attempts to rewrite a history of the workplace are multiple - and in some cases disparate - but share many key characteristics. They are turning away from the assumption that class and class conflict is the prime mover in social history, abandoning the traditional binomial workers vs. entrepreneurs perspective which had long sustained the historical perspective on labour. Moreover, as this collections outlines, these new attempts concentrate on the analysis of complex social networks of actors that defined and configured industrial workplaces, suggesting a broadening of possible social actors.
This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Review of History.
Table of Contents
1. History of the workplace: Environment and health at stake – An introduction Judith Rainhorn and Lars Bluma 2. The hygienic movement and German mining 1890 – 1914 Lars Bluma 3. The banning of white lead: French and American experiences in a comparative perspective (early twentieth century) Judith Rainhorn 4. Aluminium in health and food: a gradual global approach Florence Hachez-Leroy 5. Fiddling, drinking and stealing: moral code in the Soviet Estonian mining industry Eeva Kesküla 6. Hygienists, workers’ bodies and machines in nineteenth-century France Thomas Le Roux 7. The factory as environment: social engineering and the ecology of industrial workplaces in inter-war Germany Timo Luks 8. The ideal of Lebensraum and the spatial order of power at German factories, 1900 – 45 Karsten Uhl
Lars Bluma is senior researcher at the German Mining Museum in Bochum, Germany. He is Adjunct Professor at the Historical Institute of the Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
Judith Rainhorn is Associate Professor at the Université of Lille-Nord de France, Valenciennes, France, member of Esopp, EHESS-Sciences Po, Paris, France, and an alumna of the Ecole normale supérieure.