From Myth to Stigma? The Political Uses of Mining Identity in the North of France
- Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas
- Duke University Press
- Volume 16, Number 1, March 2019
- pp. 65-80
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The aim of this article is to explore the way in which mining identity has been put to political use in the northern mining region—the most important in France—over the past century. The article describes images and representations that define, in political terms, mining identity. Attention is also paid to the different political actors producing these narratives. The article begins with the construction and evolution of the political myth surrounding mining identity, especially after the Second World War. Then it examines the controversies and debates concerning the management of mining identity during the period of pit closures. Finally, it attempts, from a historical point of view, to show how the evolution of these political narratives can help us understand the present situation in the former mining basin of the north.