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The Trauma of a Non-Traumatic Decline. Narratives of Deindustrialisation in Asturian Mining: The HUNOSA Case

Irene Díaz Martínez

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Abstract


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Abstract

Based on interviews conducted in the 1990s, the early 2000s and, again, since 2013, this article discusses views on deindustrialisation in the Asturian coalfields. While the historical experience of the Asturian miners has been shaped by forms of workers’ radicalism and their Anti-Francoist resistance, the conflicts around the shrinking of the coal industry have taken on a paradoxical outlook. On the one hand, the labour movement, and the trade unions in particular, have succeeded in securing measures to ease the transition into a post-industrial period. On the other hand, these measures are almost perceived as a “shameful victory”. Some aspects of this antagonist perception will be addressed in the following. This concerns the emotional attachment to the experiences and social bonds linked to working in the now obsolete coal mining industry. At the same time, the instruments of social security to help the miners master the crisis lead to almost contentious constellations with a younger generation that is facing severe unemployment. Thus, the aim of preventing deindustrialization from becoming a cultural trauma is therefore a difficult task in practice.

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Bibliographie: Díaz Martínez, Irene: The Trauma of a Non-Traumatic Decline. Narratives of Deindustrialisation in Asturian Mining: The HUNOSA Case, BIOS – Zeitschrift für Biographieforschung, Oral History und Lebensverlaufsanalysen, 2-2018, S. 53-66. https://doi.org/10.3224/bios.v31i2.05


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