Archaeologies of Working-Class Culture and Collective Action
International Journal of Historical Archaeology
The nineteenth-century emergence of an American working class is studied by historians as an abstract awareness of shared experiences grounded in material conditions and concrete reality (Oestreicher 1986). Historical archaeology is appropriate to track the rise in class consciousness through: (1) shared material culture in workers’ domestic lives; (2) archaeological or archival evidence for class distinctions and hierarchical dissent; and (3) material evidence, archival and oral histories of working-class efforts to affect change through labor organizing or political action. These markers of class consciousness are compared among historical sites of labor contestation, and used to understand experiences of workers in the company town of Mono Mills, California. Identification of a working-class culture contributes to theorizing how class structures crosscut differences (e.g., ethnic, gendered, and racial) as well as built solidarity in opposition to other tiers of the labor hierarchy.
Collective action, Labor, Social identities, Working class
Charlotte K. Sunseri. "Archaeologies of Working-Class Culture and Collective Action" International Journal of Historical Archaeology (2020): 183-202. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10761-019-00508-9