Ad Knotter/David Mayer (Hg.)

Coal has been fundamental for the development of industrial and transport technologies since the 19th century. This was not restricted to single nation states: Nineteenth and early twentieth century globalisation, including colonialism, would not have been possible without coal-based energy and thus the exploitation of coal in every part of the world. At the same time, coal mining is a labour-intensive activity and mine operators had to find, mobilize, and direct workers to these sites to enable exploitation. The quest for labour not only reflected itself in a broad array of labour relations (both free and unfree) but also triggered a series migration processes (both from nearby and far away). The recruitment of miners often targeted groups with a perceived inferior status. This turned coal mining communities into dense social spheres characterized by the intricate dynamics of ethnic identifications, interracial relations, and class formation. The contributions to this volume address these dynamics of labour, migration and ethnicity in coalfield history in global perspective. Pointing to a great variety of constellations the contributions cover cases from Africa (Nigeria, Zimbabwe), Asia (China, Japan), the Americas (USA, Brazil), Turkey, the Soviet Union, and Western Europe (France, Germany) as well as a broad range of topics from segregation, forced labour, and subcontracting to labour struggles, discrimination, ethnic paternalism, and sports.

International review of social history
Volume 60 Special Issue, 23 December 2015
ISBN 9781316601303
296 pages