Disability, family and community

in Disability in the Industrial Revolution

This chapter examines how social relations in mining areas were shaped by disability and asks how the lives of men, women and children were affected by impairments or chronic illness - whether their own, or those of family members. Despite significant research on evolving patterns of home life, leisure and religion in the coalfields, there has been little attempt to examine how social and familial relations of miners, and their emotional or spiritual attachments, were affected by illness or impairment. The chapter contributes to the understanding of coalfield life by situating the disabled miner within three distinctive, but overlapping settings: in the community; at home; and in the religious activities of mining areas. It explores the ways in which impairment became visible in these settings and how the norms and values associated with these arenas both delineated the experiences of disabled mineworkers and were challenged, modified and redrawn after disablement.

Disability in the Industrial Revolution

Physical impairment in British coalmining, 1780–1880

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