Workers Not Wasters: Masculine Respectability, Consumption and Unemployment in Central Scotland : a Community Study

Workers Not Wasters: Masculine Respectability, Consumption and Unemployment in Central Scotland : a Community Study

Workers Not Wasters: Masculine Respectability, Consumption and Unemployment in Central Scotland : a Community Study

Workers Not Wasters: Masculine Respectability, Consumption and Unemployment in Central Scotland : a Community Study

Synopsis

"Regular employment has a central place in the definition of masculine respectability in western industrial culture, and Workers Not Wasters describes the employment ethic in an ex-mining community in central Scotland. To be deemed respectable, however, appropriate consumption is as important an obligation as employment, and this study provides an ethnography of working-class consumption, using men's drinking as a case study. It explores the strategies that men develop to retain their self-esteem in a period of recession, and examines how the experience of unemployment differs between generations, particularly highlighting the social deprivation of poverty. The result provides a rare glimpse into the cultural factors governing a community's response to unemployment." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

In a sombre history of twentieth-century Scotland, Harvie describes:

An unlovely 'third Scotland' sprawled from South Ayrshire to Fife . . . old industrial settlements that ought to have been evacuated and demolished . . . but were preserved by buses, council housing and lack of long-term planning. . . . Somewhat isolated, ignored, lacking city facilities or country traditions -- even lacking the attentions of sociologists . . .

(Harvie 1981: 66)

'Cauldmoss' is part of this 'third Scotland'. in so far as can be discerned from the sparse studies of Lowland Scotland, and from my own observations, it seems typical of ex-coalmining villages throughout the central belt. This book is intended as a partial ethnography of Cauldmoss, which has all the characteristics Harvie outlines -- except the need to be evacuated and demolished. It is partial in that it focuses on particular themes -- respectability, employment, consumption and unemployment -- and only addresses these in respect to men.

There have been several reviews of studies relating to Lowland Scotland (Eldridge 1974; Aitken andMcarthur 1979; Turner 1980 . . .

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