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Disability in industrial Britain:

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ISBN: 9781526124326 9781526124319 Year: Pages: 288 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press Grant: Wellcome Trust - 095948/Z/11/Z
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Social Sciences --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-08 11:21:03
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Abstract

Coalmining was a notoriously dangerous industry and many of its workers experienced injury and disease. However, the experiences of the many disabled people within Britain’s most dangerous industry have gone largely unrecognised by historians. This book examines the British coal industry through the lens of disability, using an interdisciplinary approach to examine the lives of disabled miners and their families.
The book considers the coal industry at a time when it was one of Britain’s most important industries, and follows it through a period of growth up to the First World War, through strikes, depression and wartime, and into an era of decline. During this time, the statutory provision for disabled people changed considerably, most notably with the first programme of state compensation for workplace injury. And yet disabled people remained a constant presence in the industry as many disabled miners continued their jobs or took up ‘light work’. The burgeoning coalfields literature used images of disability on a frequent basis and disabled characters were used to represent the human toll of the industry.
A diverse range of sources are used to examine the economic, social, political and cultural impact of disability in the coal industry, looking beyond formal coal company and union records to include autobiographies, novels and oral testimony. It argues that, far from being excluded entirely from British industry, disability and disabled people were central to its development. The book will appeal to students and academics interested in disability history, disability studies, social and cultural history, and representations of disability in literature.

Keywords

Injury --- Impairment --- Disability --- Coal industry

Disability in the Industrial Revolution

Authors: ---
Book Series: Disability History ISBN: 9781526125774 Year: Pages: 241 DOI: 10.9760/9781526125774 Language: English
Publisher: Manchester University Press Grant: Wellcome Trust - 095948/Z/11/Z
Subject: Social Sciences --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2018-04-25 11:02:10
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Abstract

The Industrial Revolution produced injury, illness and disablement on a large scale and nowhere was this more visible than in coalmining. Disability in the Industrial Revolution sheds new light on the human cost of industrialisation by examining the lives and experiences of those disabled in a sector that was vital to Britain’s economic growth. Although it is often assumed that industrialisation led to increasing marginalisation of people with impairments, disabled mineworkers were expected to return to work wherever possible, and new medical services developed to assist in this endeavour. Using a rich and innovative mix of sources ranging from official reports to autobiographies, this book examines disability and its consequences in the coalfields of Scotland, north east England and south Wales. It explores how working conditions, the organisation of labour, and employer attitudes affected the ability of impaired miners to find employment, and charts the multifaceted responses to disablement, ranging from health and safety regulations to welfare programmes. Recognising that experiences of disability extended beyond the world of work, the book discusses the family, community and cultural lives of disabled mineworkers. It shows how disability played an important role in industrial relations and shaped class identity. In the process, it presents a new history of disability and the Industrial Revolution, one that shows how disabled people contributed to Britain’s industrial development, and demonstrates how concerns about disability shaped responses to industrialisation.

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