Made in Sheffield: An Ethnography of Industrial Work and Politics

Front Cover
Berghahn Books, Mar 1, 2009 - Social Science - 212 pages

In 1900, Sheffield was the tenth largest city in the world. Cutlery “made in Sheffield” was used across the globe, and the city built armored plate for the navy in the run-up to the First World War. Today, however, Sheffield’s derelict Victorian shop floors and industrial buildings are hidden behind new leisure developments and shopping centers.

Based on an extended period of research in two local steel factories, this book combines a lively, descriptive account with a wide-ranging critique of post-industrial capitalism. Its central argument is that recent government attempts to engineer Britain’s transition to a post-industrial and classless society have instead created volatile post-industrial spaces marked by informal labor, industrial sweatshops and levels of risk and deprivation that divide citizens along lines of gender, age, and class. The author discovers a link between production and reproduction, and demonstrates the centrality of kinship relations, child and female labor, and intra-household exchanges to the economic process of de-industrialization. Paradoxically, government policies have reinvigorated working-class militancy, spawned local industrial clusters and re-embedded the economy in the spatial and social structure of the neighborhood.


What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Part IArtisans
Chapter 1Morris LTD
Chapter 2The Return of the Informal Economy in Endcliffe
Chapter 3WorkingClass Homes
Chapter 4Welcome to Political Limbo
Chapter 5Unsor LTD
Chapter 6A Divided Proletariat
Chapter 7Community Unionism Business Unionism

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Massimiliano Mollona has been Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, London, since 2003. After an Italian Laurea in Economics, he received his Ph.D. and MSc in Anthropology from the London School of Economics. He is a co-editor of Critique of Anthropology and Reviews Editor of Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (JRAI). His recent publications include ‘Gifts of Labour. Steel Production and Technological Imagination in an Area of Urban Deprivation, Sheffield, UK’ in Critique of Anthropology, 25(2) and ‘Factory, Family and Neighbourhood. The Political Economy of Informal Labour in Sheffield, UK’ in JRAI. (N.S.) 11. He has published widely on labour issues and steel production.

Bibliographic information