An Irish Working Class: Explorations in Political Economy and Hegemony, 1800-1950

An Irish Working Class: Explorations in Political Economy and Hegemony, 1800-1950

by Marilyn Silverman


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In An Irish Working Class, Marilyn Silverman explores the dynamics of capitalism, colonialism, and state formation through an examination of the political economy and culture of those who contributed their labour. Stemming from the author's academic research on Ireland for over two decades, the book combines archival data, interviews, and participant observation to create a unique and intricate study of labourers' lives in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, between 1800 and 1950. Political anthropology, Gramscian approaches to hegemony, and the work of social historians on class experience all inform Silverman's perspective in this volume.

Silverman explores the complex and changing consciousness, politics, and social relations of a cross-section of workers. These workers were employed in the mills, tanneries, artisanal shops, and retail outlets, and on the landed estates, farms, and public works projects which typified this highly differentiated locality. In constructing the social history of workers in a particular place over time, An Irish Working Class makes an important contribution to Irish Studies, European historical ethnography, and the anthropology of working-class life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802094513
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 05/27/2006
Series: Anthropological Horizons Series
Pages: 560
Product dimensions: 6.03(w) x 8.98(h) x 1.45(d)

About the Author

Marilyn Silverman is Professor, Department of Anthropology, York University.

Table of Contents

List of Maps, Tables, and Figuresix
Part IEncountering Labour in Field, Archives, and Theory
1Political Economy, Class, and Locality3
2Relations of Class and Thomastown's 'Lower Orders' in 180019
Part IILabouring Experience in the Nineteenth Century39
3Realizing the Working Class: Political Economy and Culture43
4Political Domains and Working Combinations after 181580
5The Political Domain: Labour as Device, Resource, and Project100
6Custom and Respectability: The Petty Sessions119
7Privatizing the River; Politicizing Labouring Fishers142
Part IIIAt the Turn of the Twentieth Century, 1885-1901167
8Political Sentiment and the Inland Fisheries173
9Social Organization and the Politics of Labour193
Part IVMetissage and Hegemony, 1901-50217
10The Organizational Impetus: Class and Nationalism before the War, 1906-14223
11From Class to Nation: National Chronology and Local Experience, 1914-23243
12From Nation to Class in the New State: Replicating Capital and Labour, 1920-6262
13Labouring Viewpoints and Lives: The Metissage of Experience and Identities, 1914-30281
14The Uneven Economy and the Moral Economy, 1926-50301
15The Quality of Charity, Values, and Entitlements, 1908-50321
16Redundancy and Status-Class: Purveying Values through Recreation and Education, 1929-50339
17'And the Church Preached Its View'359
18'We Had a Live Union Then'380
19'Much Wants More': Framing the Politics of Labour401
20Inside the Frame: The Politics of Mediation421
21Organizing Labour in the 1940s: The Politics of Combination442
22Reproducing the Political Regime and Regimen, 1940-50461
Part VConclusions: Political Economy and Culture, 1800-1950481
23Theory, Concept, and Text: A Holistic Approach to the Politics of Class482

What People are Saying About This

Department of Anthropology, Montclair State University - Marilyn Cohen

A Labouring Experience makes a significant contribution...on several levels: theoretical, methodological and empirical.

Locals in the region will no doubt find the book fascinating, but so will any reader interested in comparative and theoretical problems and questions in 19th century European history.

Department of Anthropology, Columbia University - Joan Vincent

...the integrity of her fieldwork is beyond question.

The structure and clarity of the book make it available to students at all levels

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