Based on qualitative research among industrial workers in a region that has undergone deindustrialisation and transformation to a service-based economy, this book examines the loss of status among former manual labourers. Focus lies on their emotional experiences, nostalgic memories, hauntings from the past and attachments to their former places of work, to transformed neighbourhoods, as well as to public space. Against this background the book explores the continued importance of class as workers attempt to manage the declining recognition of their skills and a loss of power in an "established-outsider figuration". A study of the transformation of everyday life and social positions wrought by changes in the social structure, in urban landscapes and in the "structures of feeling", this examination of the dynamic of social identity will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology and geography with interests in post-industrial societies, social inequality, class and social identity.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Context: Spatial and Social Transformations
2. Field Methods and the Local Context
3. Transformations of Class
Part 2: Senses of Place and Transformed Industrial Landscapes
4. "Quite a Shame": Confrontations Between Workers Nostalgia and Optimistic Official Representations
5. Class-related Senses of Place and Frightening Encounters with Haunted Workplaces
6. Nostalgia and Practices of Resistance in Public Spaces
Part 3: Community Transformations and Social Encounters
7. Community Transformations I: The Nostalgic View of the Former Established
8. Community Transformations II: The Non-nostalgic View of a Former Outsider
Lars Meier is Professor for Sociology and Social Inequality at the Institute for Sociology, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany.