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Sandbags, Strikes, and Scandals

Public Disorder and Problematic Policing in Occupied Roubaix during World War I

James E. Connolly

In late April 1915, female workers of the Selliez clothing factory in the French town of Roubaix were insulted for numerous consecutive days by local residents who, a French police report noted, “had built themselves up into an angry state.” 1 The

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Bonnie White

Following the armistice of 11 November 1918, questions arose in government about what should be done with the woman worker as the men prepared to return from the theaters of war. Women’s contributions to the war effort were widely recognized, but in

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“Till I Have Done All That I Can”

An Auxiliary Nurse’s Memories of World War I

Michelle Moravec

also provided medical care for the children. The Comité relied on voluntary workers, both French and American, to tend to the children. In December 1917, shortly before Clarke began working with them, the Comité oversaw twenty-seven colonies and seven

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Silvie Lindeperg

Unanimously celebrated as an authentic representation of French railroad workers' resistance against the Germans during the Occupation, René Clément's La Bataille du rail (The Battle of the Rails, 1945) was a valuable piece of ideological capital in the wake of France's liberation. Through a close reading of the film's production and reception, this article shows that the film's heroic blueprinting of the Resistance was the result of mediation between two opposing points of view: that of the Marxist Left, which sought to portray the Resistance as belonging to the working class, and that of the Gaullists, who were intent on promoting the myth of an idealized "True France" without class or ideological divisions and united in its opposition to the Germans.

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Dori Laub

This article attempts to demonstrate that remembering the rescuer in genocide is fraught with conflict. Data taken from psychoanalytic practice and the arena of public discourse is presented to illustrate these crises in remembering. The forgetting of German rescuers in German public discourse is particularly thought provoking. The vicissitudes of memories of the successful Rosenstrasse demonstrations by the Gentile wives of the two thousand Jewish workers arrested in the Fabrikaktion in 1943 in Berlin is discussed in detail, including the present-day Historikerstreit regarding the “real merit“ of these demonstrations. Holocaust survivors' memories of being rescued by Germans are also addressed. Finally, a tentative psychoanalytic conceptualization of the conflict inherent in remembering and acknowledging such rescue behavior is attempted.

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Brian Wemp

The Grands Magasins Dufayel, a huge department store built on the northern fringe of late nineteenth-century Paris, had an important cultural influence on the city's working class. In a neighborhood with few public spaces, it provided a consumer version of the public square. It encouraged workers to approach shopping as a social activity, just as the bourgeoisie did at the famous department stores in central Paris. Like the bourgeois stores, it helped transform consumption from a personal transaction between customer and merchant into an unmediated relationship between consumer and goods. Through advertising the store portrayed itself as a space where the working-class visitor could participate in new and exciting forms of entertainment and technology. Its unique instore cinema and exhibits of inventions like X-ray machines and the gramophone created a new kind of urban space that celebrated the close relationship between technology and consumer culture.

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"But the Child Is Flighty, Playful, Curious"

Working-Class Boyhood and the Policing of Play in Belle Époque Paris

Miranda Sachs

By the end of the nineteenth century, working-class children increasingly fell under adult supervision. Working-class boys, however, retained much autonomy over their leisure time. By examining memoirs and police archives, this article shows that boys’ play often flirted with the criminal or the dangerous. When boys entered the workplace, this reputation for lawless play followed them. Drawing on accident reports, this article demonstrates that employers and republican labor inspectors blamed boys for dangerous workplace accidents by highlighting boys’ playful nature. The article concludes by showing how reformers constructed spaces for boys’ leisure in an attempt to tame and direct their play. I argue that this reckless play became one of the defining characteristics of working-class boyhood both within peer society and to external observers. Regulating boys’ play thus became a way to ensure that they matured seamlessly into worker-citizens.

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Gregor Feindt and Ralph Weber

Paweł Rojek, Semiotyka Solidarnos ´ci: Analiza dyskursów PZPR i NSZZ Solidarnos ´c´ w 1981 roku [Semiotics of Solidarity: Discourse Analysis of the Polish United Workers Party and the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarity 1981] (Krakow: Nomos, 2009), 264 pp.

Elz˙bieta Ciz˙ewska, Filozofi a publiczna Solidarnos ´ci: 1980–1981 z perspektywy republikan´skiej tradycji politycznej [The Public Philosophy of Solidarity: 1980–1981 from the Perspective of Republican Political Tradition] (Warsaw: Narodowe Centrum Kultury, 2010), 379 pp.

Krzysztof Brzechczyn, O ewolucji solidarnos ´ciowej w mys ´li społeczno-politycznej w latach 1980–1981: Studium z filozofi i społecznej [The Evolution of Solidarity in Social-Political Thought 1980–1981: A Study in Social Philosophy], (Poznan´: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Wydziału Nauk Społecznych Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicz, 2013), 192 pp.

Hagen Schulz-Forberg, ed., A Global Conceptual History of Asia, 1860–1940 (London: Pickering & Chatto, 2014), 205 pp.

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Worst Conceivable Form

Race, Global Capital, and The Making of the English Working Class

Zach Sell

W. E. B. Du Bois noted that the nineteenth-century US slave plantation corresponded with the factory in its worst conceivable form. This article expands upon Du Bois's insight to consider the emergence of the English working class in correspondence with American settler slavery and colonial projects within the British Empire. From above, elites theorized about the exploitation of labor as a world historical project to compare the enslaved, the colonized, and the English worker against one another. From below, proletarian intellectuals imagined the freedom of English laborers through the condition of the enslaved in the American South and Jamaica and the colonized in South Asia. By placing these histories from above and below together, this article argues that it is impossible to conceive of the English working class making itself and being made at remove from the enslaving and colonizing projects of global capital.

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Henry A. Giroux

This article argues that democracy is on life support in the United States. Throughout the social order, the forces of predatory capitalism are on the march—dismantling the welfare state, corrupting politics with outside money, defunding higher education, expanding the corporate-surveillance-military state, widening inequalities in wealth and income, and waging a war on low income and poor minorities. As market mentalities and moralities tighten their grip on all aspects of society, democratic institutions and public spheres are being downsized, if not altogether disappearing. As these institutions vanish—from higher education to health care centers—there is also a serious erosion of the discourses of community, justice, equality, public values, and the common good. This article argues that given this current crisis, educators, artists, intellectuals, youth, and workers need a new political and pedagogical language centered around the notion of radical democracy in order to address the changing contexts and issues facing a world in which capital draws upon an unprecedented convergence of resources—financial, cultural, political, economic, scientific, military, and technological—to exercise powerful and diverse forms of control.