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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The spinning Jenny and the sorting table: E. P. Thompson and workers in industrializing Europe and Southern Africa
Author:Higginson, JohnISNI
Year:2017
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 1469-5138)
Volume:58
Issue:1
Pages:19-33
Language:English
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subjects:historiography
labour history
working class
About person:Edward Palmer Thompson (1924-1993)
Link:https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021853716000591
Abstract:The most compelling aspect of E. P. Thompson's work for labour historians of Southern Africa is his contention that class is a fluent group relationship or 'happening' - something workers do, in addition to what employers and the state impose upon them. However, by the 1970s, Thompson recognized that his earlier claim also had to resonate with other key assumptions about working class aspirations; especially the need of a shared group consciousness to be more meaningful for individuals than the laws of the state. The principal weakness of Thompson's for African historians, however, is the absence of a more explicit discussion about the demise of the English peasantry in his work. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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