Waving or drowning? British labor history in troubled waters

McIlroy, John (2012) Waving or drowning? British labor history in troubled waters. Labor History, 53 (1) . pp. 91-119. ISSN 0023-656X [Article] (doi:10.1080/0023656X.2012.650435)

Download (319kB) | Preview


The vigour of a field of history is usually assessed by reference to the quality of its historiography. Its health may also be judged by its presence in the curricula of educational bodies, public interest, and the prevalence and robustness of journals and societies dedicated to it. This article employs these criteria, sometimes overlooked in diagnosis of the condition of labor history, to explore its predicament in Britain. It documents the weight of labor history in the academy, its fragmentation, the declining numbers of scholars and their diminished sense of common identity as historians of a unified subject. Despite intellectual vitality indicated by the literature, institutional decline and centrifugal tendencies pose questions about the strength, even the reality, in practice, of the definitional field asserted in theory. The position appears unfavourable, compared with countries such as the USA and Australia. Popularization of labor history in the labor movement and among the public, proffered as a path to renewal, also poses problems.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > Business School
Item ID: 10186
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Alison Roache
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2013 05:06
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2022 00:34
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/10186

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.