"Through Trade Unionism you Felt a belonging--you belonged": Collectivism and the Self Representation of Building Workers In Stevenage New Town

Charles McGuire, Linda Clarke, Christine Wall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Building workers in Britain have often been portrayed as individualistic and independent – a fragmented and atomised sector of workers who are largely uninterested or incapable of being involved in a common struggle to improve conditions generally. However, the oral histories of a group of workers employed in the building industry in Stevenage during the post-war decades suggest a very different reality. For these workers, collectivism, solidarity, sacrifice, and struggle were the key themes of their experience on construction sites during the 1950s–1970s period. A strong commitment to trade unionism was central to this, and was also a key resource through which they constructed their self-identities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-236
JournalLabour History Review
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2016

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