Born in a steeltown : class relations and the decline of the European community steel industry since 1974
Since 1974, the steel industry in the European Community has seen a dramatic crisis of over-production. In a desperate effort to cope with the problems of surplus capacity and mounting losses, steel producers have closed tens of millions of tonnes of capacity and shed over three hundred thousand jobs. These job losses have been selectively concentrated in particular towns and regions where the steel industry has traditionally been the major provider of waged employment. International processes of change have been and are being experienced very visibly in these places. They were fashioned by capitalist production and in one sense swept aside as part of the continued dynamics of this process. In another sense, however, the people of these settlements cannot be swept aside, for attachment to place and community is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. We therefore seek to consider here just how these conflicting processes have been acted out in and through some of these places - Consett in north east England, Ravens Craig in Scotland, Dortmund in West Germany and the region of Lorraine in France.