Journal of American Studies
labor supply, unskilled labor, historiography, working class
During the last thirty years, American labor and ethnic historiography, generally relying on pioneers like E. P. Thompson and Herbert Gutman, interpreted the 19th-century industrial experiences of the working classes and ethnic groups by explaining how such groups fashioned their own, separate, subcultures. Such scholarship idealized workers, minimized the primacy of industrial capitalism and its power to shape society according to capitalist ideologies, and ignored worker unrest that flared sporadically into violence. This unrest was never driven sufficiently by social class solidarity and ethnic consciousness that an autonomous subculture could root in those circles.
Way, Peter. (1994). Labour's love lost: Observations on the historiography of class and ethnicity in the nineteenth Century. Journal of American Studies, 28 (1), 1-22.