Sooty Faces and Elysian Shades: Social Identities and Social Relations
This chapter explores those aspects of Whickham's social development that up to now have been pushed to the margins of our story. For the industrial development of Whickham and its environs involved not only economic, technological, demographic, and social-structural change, but also a reshaping of social identities and shifts in the patterns of social relationships. Change of this kind was no simple and mechanical response to the imperatives of industrial development. It was a complex and uneven process, a continuing interaction between inherited traditions and novel circumstances. The aim, therefore, is to capture something of the dynamism and historical contingency of that process as the identities of the people of Whickham, and of the emerging industrial society of Tyneside to which they belonged, were forged and reforged between the anvil of established ways and the insistent beating of the hammers of change.
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