Mining Women: Gender in the Development of a Global Industry, 1670 to the Present

Paperback | August 15, 2009

EditorLaurie Mercier, Jaclyn Gier

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Mining Women presents eighteen new essays that illuminate how gender identities and inequality have been constructed historically and sustained in what could be hailed as the first truly global enterprise and arguably the most "masculine" of industries--mining. These essays explore gender relations and women's work and activism in different parts of the world and from multiple perspectives. They investigate not only gender's role in the domestic and cultural aspects of mining communities, but also its impact on the emerging industrial and capitalist system from the eighteenth through the twentieth centuries. Each essay is important for understanding the ways in which gender is imagined, lived, inscribed, and contested in specific historical and material contexts. As a whole, the volume reveals that despite the tremendous variation between industries, cultures, and national experiences, women have challenged the constraints of gender definitions on their lives and work.

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From the Publisher

Mining Women presents eighteen new essays that illuminate how gender identities and inequality have been constructed historically and sustained in what could be hailed as the first truly global enterprise and arguably the most "masculine" of industries--mining. These essays explore gender relations and women's work and activism in diff...

From the Jacket

"At last here is a book that links women and mining across time and place. In this lively and original collection we cross continents, enter many types of mines, explore male and female responses to women miners, and see how women from mining communities in many different parts of the world have met challenges. These riveting stories a...

Laurie Mercier is Professor of History, Washington State University Vancouver. She is the author of Anaconda: Labor, Community and Culture in Montana’s Smelter City and The 1970s Social History of the United States. She is a former president of the Oral History Association and coauthor of Using Oral History in Community History Projec...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.82 inPublished:August 15, 2009Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023062104X

ISBN - 13:9780230621046

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Table of Contents

Introduction--Laurie Mercier & Jaclyn Gier
* Part I: The Indigenous, Colonial, and Imperial Legacy*
1.Mining Women, Royal Slaves: Copper Mining in Colonial Cuba, 1670-1780 --Maria Elena Diaz
2.Making a Dfference in Colonial Interventionism in Gold Mining in Wassa Fiase, Gold Coast (Ghana): The Activism of Two Women, 1874-1893 --Kwabena O. Akurang-Parry
3. Lifting the Layers of the Mountain's Petticoats: Mining and Gender in Potosi's Pachamama --Pascale Absi
4. Kamins Building the Empire: Class, Caste, and Gender Interface in Indian Collieries --Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt
* Part II: Engendering Bodies and the Masculinization of the Mining Industry: Separate Spheres and the Role of Women in Mining, the Mining Household, and Community, 1800-1940*
5. Sociability, Solidarity, and Social Exclusion: Women's Activism in the south Wales Coalfield, ca. 1830-1939--Rosemary Jones
6. Gender Relations in Iron Mining Communities in Sweden, 1900-1940 --Eva Blomberg
7. Invisible Labor: A Comparative Oral History of Women in Coal Mining Communities of Hokkaido, Japan, and Montana, USA, 1890-1940  --Kayoko Yoshida and Reiko Miyauchi
8.Coal Mining Women Speak Out: Economic Change and Women Miners of Chikuho, Japan --Sachiko Sone
* Part III: Gender, Mining Communities, and Labor Protests *
9. "I'm a Johnny Mitchell Man": Gender and Labor Protests in the Pennsylvania Hard Coal Uprising, 1900-1902  --Bonnie Stepenoff
10. Violence and the Colorado National Guard: Masculinity, Race, Class, and Identity in the 1913-1914 Southern Colorado Coal Strike  --Anthony DeStefanis
11. "I Hate to Be Calling Her a Wife Now": Women and Men in the Salt of the Earth Strike, 1950-1952  --Ellen Baker
12.  Godless Communists and Faithful Wives, Gender Relations and the Cold War: Mine Mill and the 1958 Strike against the International Nickel Company --Mercedes Steedman
* Part IV: The Division of Mining Labor Revisited: State Cultures of Solidarity, Deindustrialization, and the Globalized Economy, 1945-2005 *
13. Just a Housewife? Miners' Wives between Household and Work in Postwar Germany  --Yong-Sook Jung
14. Women into Mining Jobs at Inco: Challenging the Gender Division of Labor  --Jennifer Keck and mary Powell
15. From Ludlow to Camp Solidarity: Women, Men, and Cultures of Solidarity in U.S. Coal Communities, 1912-1990  --Camille Guerin-Gonzales
Epilogue  Mining Women Find a Voice: Working Class and Environmental Feminism in the Twenty-First Century  --Jaclyn J. Gier 
* Selected Bibliography * Contributor Notes * Index

Editorial Reviews

“This collection adds significantly to our knowledge of women and mining, provides a much needed global perspective, but also brings insights to gender construction. If these essays were designed to ‘mine’ women, then surely the editors hit the mother lode.”—Katherine G. Aiken, Montana: The Magazine of Western History"At last here is a book that links women and mining across time and place. In this lively and original collection we cross continents, enter many types of mines, explore male and female responses to women miners, and see how women from mining communities in many different parts of the world have met challenges. These riveting stories and reflections help our understanding of the intricacies of gender relations and reveal the value of international and comparative history. They speak volumes about the bravery, persistence, and networks of mining women, whether facing exclusion, superstition, sexism, or big business. This book too mines a rich seam."--Angela V. John, Honorary Professor of History, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, and author of By The Sweat of Their Brow: Women Workers at Victorian Coal Mines "Mining Women mines the historic and global variety of women’s participation in an industry commonly thought of as a masculine preserve. Spanning the mining industries of Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas from the 17th century to the present, Mining Women is a rich source for histories of women and gender, class and labor, mining and economic development. This transnational treasure challenges essentialist concepts of women’s work, options, or possibilities to reveal rich and complex patterns of gender, activism, and resistance."--Elizabeth Jameson, Imperial Oil & Lincoln McKay Chair in American Studies, University of Calgary, and author of All That Glitters: Class, Conflict, and Community in Cripple Creek"Mining Women is a brilliantly conceived and adeptly realized book. The chapters' evenness in length, analytical purpose, and clarity are models to be followed for any edited collection. The book is sure to be assessed as pivotal literature in future scholarship in the field. It should also be mandatory reading for graduate students and also has a place in undergraduate surveys."--International Review of Social History