Unemployment and Protest: New Perspectives on Two Centuries of Contention

Hardcover | February 28, 2011

EditorMatthias Reiss, Matt Perry

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The unemployed are usually depicted as passive and politically apathetic individuals who are traumatized by their experience and broken in body and spirit. The seminal study of Marienthal's unemployed in the 1930s, based on pioneering methodology and rich empirical findings, helped to entrenchthis image as cross-disciplinary common sense.This book challenges this dominant view by revealing the wide transnational repertoires of protest and resistance that the unemployed have deployed from the early nineteenth century to the present. They have contested their situation in a discontinuous but recurrent battle for recognition, forrights to work or welfare, and for dignity. The case studies in this volume deal with contentious actions of the unemployed across different European countries, the United States, New Zealand, and Palestine. They highlight the diverse responses of the workless to their fate beyond the apathy habitually ascribed to them, from passive resistance and individual protest to organized large-scale protest marches and from protest in newspapers, books, or internet forums to agitation and direct action in thestreets, benefit fraud, and legal challenges of administrative measures or government laws. Instead of following the traditional focus on Communist-led protest during the inter-war period, this volume accentuates the plurality of individuals and organizations that have tried to organize theunemployed over the past two centuries.Taken together, these essays suggest that the unemployed exercised agency over their lives and were more than willing to express themselves, defend their interests, and participate in collective action.

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The unemployed are usually depicted as passive and politically apathetic individuals who are traumatized by their experience and broken in body and spirit. The seminal study of Marienthal's unemployed in the 1930s, based on pioneering methodology and rich empirical findings, helped to entrenchthis image as cross-disciplinary common sen...

Dr. Matthias Reiss is Lecturer in History at the University of Exeter. Dr. Matt Perry is Reader in Labour History at the University of Newcastle.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:448 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.01 inPublished:February 28, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199595739

ISBN - 13:9780199595730

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Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction1. Matt Perry and Matthias Reiss: Beyond Marienthal: Understanding Movements of the Unemployed2. Bert Klandermans: Mobilizing the Unemployed: The Social Psychology of Movement ParticipationPart II. Movements of the Unemployed in Nineteenth-Century Britain3. Margrit Schulte Beerbuhl: The March of the Blanketeers: Tragic Failure or Pioneer of Unemployed Protest?4. Matthias Reiss: From Poor Relief to Politics: The Protest of the British Unemployed in the 1870s and 1880sPart III. The Golden Age of Unemployed Movements: The Inter-War Years5. Jeannette Gabriel: 'Natural Love for a Good Thing': The Struggle of the Unemployed Workers' Movement for a Government Jobs Programme, 1931-426. Alex M. Zukas: Explaining Unemployed Protest in the Ruhr at the End of the Weimar Republic7. Philip H. Slaby: Violating the 'Rules of Hospitality': The Protests of Jobless Immigrants in Depression-Era France8. David De Vries and Shani Bar-On: Politicization of Unemployment in British-Ruled PalestinePart IV. Beyond Collective Street Protest9. Michael Seidman: Protesting Individuals: The French Unemployed in the 1930s10. Stephanie Ward: 'The Workers are in the Mood to Fight the Act': Protest Against the Means Test, 1931-511. Malcolm Chase: Unemployment without Protest: the Ironstone Mining Communities of East Cleveland in the Inter-War PeriodPart V. Self-Representations of Movements of the Unemployed12. Matt Perry: Breaking the Silence: Rationale, Protest, and Identity in the Provincial Press of the Unemployed in France, 1931-913. Antoine Capet: From Protest to Warning: Representations of the Unemployed in Victor Gollancz's Left Book Club, 1937-4514. Ingrid Hayes: Radio Lorraine Coeur d'Acier, Longwy-France, 1979-80: Reacting to the Threat of UnemploymentPart VI. Recent Movements of the Unemployed15. Cybele Locke: Fractious Factions: The Organized Unemployed and the Labour Movement in New Zealand, 1978-9016. Deborah Vietor-Englander: How Far Beyond Marienthal? Unemployed Protest in Germany in the Internet EraPart VII. Conclusion17. Didie Chabanet and Jean Faniel: The Moblization of the Unemployed: A Recurrent but Relatively Invisible Phenomenon