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"After Industry" – The Economic and Social Consequences of Deindustrialization

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Since the 1960’s the UK, Europe and the US have undergone rapid and traumatic changes as major industries have contracted or disappeared altogether – the process of deindustrialization. Employment in manufacturing industries in the UK reduced from 8.9 million in 1966 to just 2.9 million in 2016. The world’s ...

Since the 1960’s the UK, Europe and the US have undergone rapid and traumatic changes as major industries have contracted or disappeared altogether – the process of deindustrialization. Employment in manufacturing industries in the UK reduced from 8.9 million in 1966 to just 2.9 million in 2016. The world’s first industrial society is now a post-industrial society, and although the UK is an extreme, it stands as an example for a global phenomenon. As pointed out by Walkerdine and Jimenez in 2012, deindustrialization has consequences beyond economic organization and workplaces themselves. This matters most for how people construct their own identity. Industries change, develop; adapt and sometimes disappear altogether. However, it is clear that the ways of life, attitudes towards work, family and community; practices and expectations for both men and women, they helped to establish, endure. They remain as what Williams called industrial structures of feeling. For good or ill they persist and that persistence is significant. Understanding “post-industrial” places is not just a matter of charting economic change. To meaningfully understand we have to explore processes of social and cultural transformation.

This collection of articles will explore the economic social and cultural impact of deindustrialisation drawing from a wide range of perspectives and utilise a multiplicity of approaches and methods. It will attempt an integrated understanding of the spatial, economic and cultural socioscapes in the post-industrial regions and the lives of those who live within them.


Keywords: industry, deindustrialization, UK, post-industrial societies, economic change


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