Retooling the Class Factory: Response 2 From Monochrome to Technicolour: Adding the Lens of Unpaid Labour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Elizabeth Faue has presented United States labour history with a dilemma. After
many years of researching, writing and teaching labour history, Faue believes that the stories and life experiences of her working class parents, which she describes in her article, and those of many others such as labour journalist Eva McDonald Valesh, do not really 'fit in' with traditional labour history. Faue believes that the various theories and models used in labour history, such as Marxism, neo-industrialism and postmodernism, never really touch on, or adequately explain the 'subjective experiences' of ordinary working class people like Valesh and her parents. Nor do these theories explain the ways in which people 'straddled class boundaries and identities' throughout their lives. One way around this problem, Faue explains, is to 're-tool the class factory' and re-tool how labour historians 'think about class'. She continues that 'to get at the subjective dimension', we, as labour historians have to view the past through an expanded set of indices or a different pair of lenses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-126
JournalLabour History
Issue number82
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Keywords

  • Labour history
  • Volunteering
  • Voluntary work

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