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The social consequences of industrial decline : a case study of an east Cleveland mining community

Cornish, Steven Richard


Steven Richard Cornish


Ivar Oxaal


This thesis is based on research into the factors determining the development of consciousness among the population of the East Cleveland mining community of Lingdale, which has experienced a steady decline in its dominant industry of ironstone mining from the founding of the community in 1872 to the closure of the mine in 1962.

Theoretical contributions on power, consciousness and ideology are reviewed and discussed. Aspects of these contributions are then applied to the analysis of the case-study material. An examination of contemporary work on spatial and temporal factors in sociological theory is undertaken as part of an attempt to explicate the relationship between agency and structure.

Data are derived from both documentary sources and extended interviews with elderly residents of Lingdale. Problems associated with such a methodology are discussed. These data sources are employed to describe the social and institutional development of the mining community and its mine. In examining the community the influence of the mineowners, landlords and the petite-bourgeoisie, who are depicted as agents of these elites, is analysed. The creation and maintenance of a paternalistic ideology and control of the significant features of the social and institutional life of the community produced a quiescent consciousness amongst a working class who experienced economic exploitation in the context of a declining industry. This lack of a class-consciousness provides a contrast to studies of coal-mining communities in Britain and challenges the stereotype of militancy among mining communities.

In defining the process by which powerlessness is created the thesis emphasises the isolation of the community from other sectors of the working class, the role of the petite-bourgeoisie as agents for a paternalistic ideology and the failure of both the union and political institutions to act as a vehicle for class consciousness.


Cornish, S. R. (1984). The social consequences of industrial decline : a case study of an east Cleveland mining community. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date May 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Sociology
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Sociology, The University of Hull
Award Date Mar 1, 1984


Thesis (17 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1984 Cornish, Steven Richard. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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