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Dirty work: cultural iconography and working‐class pride in industrial apprenticeships

Pleasant, Emma (2019) Dirty work: cultural iconography and working‐class pride in industrial apprenticeships. The British Journal of Sociology, . ISSN 0007-1315. (doi:10.1111/1468-4446.12703) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12703

Abstract

In the seemingly routine and the everyday, lie layers of cultural and social symbolism. So it is with dirt. This article examines the social and cultural roles of dirt within socialization practices in working‐class industrial and ex‐industrial communities. Drawn from oral history accounts with 46 former and current engineering apprentices, the discussion demonstrates dirt as a concept and a practicality, and how the idea of ‘getting dirty' provided a cultural imagery used to renegotiate moral boundaries that devalue working class, masculine experiences and identities. Building on from the work of Skeggs (1997, 2004, 2011), it demonstrates the lived experience of value within the industrial workplace past and present. Through dirt, the role of cultural artefacts and iconography within working‐class experience and workplace training is explored. Additionally, the role of a cultural icon like dirt in the intergenerational dialogues of workplace communities is given new attention. In doing so the article argues that while after decades of underinvestment in apprenticeships as a model for training in the UK, a recent resurgence in interest can go some way in overcoming the long‐term effects of the loss of large‐scale industrial work. However, the cultures of work attached to the apprenticeships of the past are, within deindustrialization, much more complicated to develop or recreate.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/1468-4446.12703
Uncontrolled keywords: Working‐class, value, apprenticeship, craft work, deindustrialization, community
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: E. Pleasant
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2019 11:31 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2019 11:37 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/76489 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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