Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark
Co-Social Media and Technology Coordinator

The research (Economic and Social Research Council PhD studentship) is a comparative analysis of female-led factory occupations during the second wave of the Scottish occupation movement, 1981-83 entitled ‘Comparative analysis of female factory occupations in early 1980s Scotland’.Three case studies form the primary sites of analysis: Lee Jeans (1981), Lovable Lingerie (1982) and Plessey Capacitors (1982). The thesis seeks to examine the reasons why these previously un-militant workers launched such aggressive action when faced with redundancy, framed within an understanding of Kelly’s (1998) mobilization theory. The research aims to address the ‘gender blindness’ of Kelly’s framework (Wacjman, 2011), and to incorporate class and emerging cultures of solidarity in the shaping of workforce resistance (Atzeni, 2012). The research also places these disputes within the literature on deindustrialisation and its long-term impacts on communities historically tied to industrial production. The thesis will be the first substantial research to consider the resistance of women, as workers, to the accelerated contraction of Scottish industry at this time caused by capital migration and relocation, placing their experiences within existing narratives of the decline of male dominated heavy industries. The research incorporates a substantial oral history project, with fifty interviews set to be completed with workers and management involved in these disputes, of which fifteen have currently been conducted. (Supervisors: Professor Arthur McIvor (History) and Professor Phil Taylor (Human Resource Management))

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