The decline of the labour movement in the 1980s and 1990s robbed labour history of its elan as 'history with a social purpose', and the rise of postmodernism devalued the attempt by labour historians to grasp social reality as a whole. Today there is a commonly expressed feeling that labour history is experiencing a crisis. The first three essays in this volume are historiographical; then four essays engage with the challenges posed by post-modernism and cultural theory; and finally four essays present examples of the ways in which theoretical reappraisals can shape the writing of labour history.
- Labour history,
- public sphere,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/terry_irving1/4/