Accepted paper:

'Knowing', being and self in post-industrial South Yorkshire


Cathrine Degnen (Newcastle University, UK)

Paper short abstract:

This paper considers how, in the face of a profound re-ordering of the social due to the collapse of the coal industry, both claims to belonging and notions of the self are mediated through a discourse of 'knowing' people, places and pasts.

Paper long abstract:

The former coalfields of South Yorkshire are undergoing profound socio-economic transformation, mirroring post-industrial shifts experienced across the UK. Locally, people speak vividly and at length about the changes they encounter in their daily lives, whether it be in forms of sociability, characteristics of living places, the landscape, technologies in the home and at work, or in ways of being. Thus, the 'what was' is held within the 'what is', co-residing in both comforting and uncomfortable ways. This paper seeks to better understand such everyday experiences and forms of meaning through the concept of 'knowing'. 'Knowing', used to refer to both people and places, is about more than prior relationships. It has special resonance to experiences of self and of belonging, and is inescapably traced by temporality.

panel P28
Social transformation in the United Kingdom: appropriation, class and identity