In 1900, Sheffield was the tenth largest city in the world. Cutlery "made in Sheffield" was used across the globe, and the city built armored plate for the navy in the run-up to the First World War. Today, however, Sheffield's derelict Victorian shop floors and industrial buildings are hidden behind new leisure developments and shopping centers.
Based on an extended period of research in two local steel factories, this book combines a lively, descriptive account with a wide-ranging critique of post-industrial capitalism. Its central argument is that recent government attempts to engineer Britain's transition to a post-industrial and classless society have instead created volatile post-industrial spaces marked by informal labor, industrial sweatshops and levels of risk and deprivation that divide citizens along lines of gender, age, and class. The author discovers a link between production and reproduction, and demonstrates the centrality of kinship relations, child and female labor, and intra-household exchanges to the economic process of de-industrialization. Paradoxically, government policies have reinvigorated working-class militancy, spawned local industrial clusters and re-embedded the economy in the spatial and social structure of the neighborhood.
Subjects: Anthropology, Political Science
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