The social relations of disability
in Disability in industrial Britain

This chapter considers the particular social relations of coalfield communities and situates disability within this social context. It assesses the ways in which the particular class, gender, familial, generational and occupational identities of coalfield society influenced the ways in which disability was understood and experienced, and also, in turn, the role of disability in the creation of new social relations. While the disabilities of miners were rooted in their experiences in the workplace, many of the consequences and implications of disability were experienced in other spaces. Thus, this chapter takes a spatial approach which considers the home, the street and public and religious spaces as crucial sites of disability. It explores life beyond the workplace for miners and their families, using existing oral testimony alongside autobiography, literature and the perspective of outside observers.

Disability in industrial Britain

A cultural and literary history of impairment in the coal industry, 1880–1948


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