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Community, Class, and Comparison in Labour History and Local History

Elizabeth Faue
Labour History
No. 78 (May, 2000), pp. 155-162
DOI: 10.2307/27516703
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27516703
Page Count: 8
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Community, Class, and Comparison in Labour History and Local History
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Abstract

This postscript is a response to the studies in the thematic section on Labour History and Local History. It places the effort to understand the connections between the history of communities and of working classes in the context of the new labour history in the United States and Australia. At the same time that local history has been the vehicle of much new scholarship, there have been major lacunae in the lack of a fully developed spatial analysis and the failure to analyse the various meanings and constructions of 'community'. This postscript summarises the major findings of the essays in terms of the connections between community and localism and class identity and politics and finds some resonances in the ways that US and Australian labour historians treat these aspects of working class lives. In particular, the essays suggest the importance of gender in understanding the strengths and limitations of local working class political organisation. The postscript concludes by pointing out new directions in the study of working class and community history by exploring the uses of public space and of community as geography, metaphor and strategy.

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