The political and social construction of work in north eastern engineering and shipbuilding, 1880-191820

Stoddart, Mark Baldwin (2022) The political and social construction of work in north eastern engineering and shipbuilding, 1880-191820. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

Text (Doctoral thesis)
stoddart.mark_phd (16032459).pdf - Submitted Version

Download (37MB) | Preview


For fifty years or so at the end of the 19th century the North East of England was an engineering and shipbuilding powerhouse, and a huge mining area. A fast growing population with concomitant infrastructure developments reflected the resulting demand for labour. Yet by 1932 one of the exemplars of this success, Jarrow, was in such dire economic straights that it was described as a “workhouse without walls”.1 The causes of this precipitous decline have been debated, at least in general terms, by historians for years. Was it the failure of owners to adopt more modern management practices, the alleged refusal of the City of London to invest in the UK when they could generate better returns abroad, or a gradual institutional sclerosis paralysing the ability of business to adapt to changed circumstances? This PhD looks at the rise and decline of NE engineering and shipbuilding, focusing on communities rather than class, and looking at what bound them together as well as what kept them apart. This though is not a family history. Through an examination of the political and social construction of work, including case studies of specific workplaces, as well as the ways in which the communities lived, it attempts to provide a more detailed look at ways in which the many thousands of individual choices and decisions made by those community members, which whilst in their own context were rational, in the broader sweep of history created the conditions for long term decline.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: clustering and networking, institutional sclerosis, community, agency and the cumulative effect of individual decisions
Subjects: L200 Politics
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2023 09:34
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2023 09:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics