The Complexities of Postindustrialism in the UK; Or, Whatever Happened to Industrial Teesside?

As an American now living in North East England (Durham County specifically), I am overwhelemed with the significant ways in which life here is remarkably similar to life in Northeastern Ohio (USA) where I lived for 20 years.  The main similarities are coal and industry, struggling cities trying to find their way, deindustrialisation and a loss of jobs and work, and yet a hard-working honesty and straighforwardness, combined with a resolve and pride in being from the area and making a commitment to seeing it through the tough times.

Industrial Teesside, Lives and Legacies

It is for these reasons and their global similarities that I wanted to highlight a very well-written and insightful book by my colleague, Jon Warren, titled appropriately enough, Industrial Teesside, Lives and Legacies.  What I very much like about the book is its Joycian way of seeking to preserve a historical knowledge of the area, mainly through the variety of first- and second-person narratives and archival photos found throughout the book.  It was a joy to read, particularly for someone new to the area, as it really helped me to understand the history of the community that my family and I now call home.

And it is for these reasons that I recommend the book to others -- and not just those living in North East England, but also anyone seeking to make sociological sense of how working-class communities throughout the global north are dealing with the significant ways in which globalisation and post-industrialisation have changed their lives, both for the worse and, also, with optimism and hope, for the better!

For more on Jon Warren's views, see this recent interview with him by Business Echo.


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