'Standing the gaff': Immiseration and its consequences in the de-industrialised mining communities of Cape Breton Island

Wray, David and Stephenson, Carol (2012) 'Standing the gaff': Immiseration and its consequences in the de-industrialised mining communities of Cape Breton Island. Capital & Class, 36 (2). pp. 323-338. ISSN 0309-8168

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0309816812437925

Abstract

This paper applies Marx’s concept of immiseration to the mining communities of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, in an attempt to conceptualise the consequences of de-industrialisation. We identify and explore a series of specific social, economic, historical, political and geographic circumstances that have militated against the radicalisation predicted by Marx, but nonetheless conclude that the concept of immiseration continues to have contemporary relevance. Economic hardship, out-migration on an unprecedented scale and a collapse of confidence at both an individual and collective level are the consequences of de-industrialisation and reveal the contemporary experience and purpose of immiseration. First, it is a process through which a geographically isolated population of workers have become conditioned either to accept poor work in terms of lower wages and conditions, or to become economic migrants. Second, it is a process through which new opportunities for profitability and investment are established for new investors.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: De-industrialisation, immiseration, mining communities, out-migration, social decline
Subjects: L300 Sociology
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2013 13:59
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:07
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/10727

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