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The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Postindustrial America

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The End of the Line tells the story of the 1988 closing of the Chrysler assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathryn Marie Dudley uses interviews with residents to chart the often confusing process of change that deindustrialization forced on every corner of the community. This honest, moving portrait of one town's radical shift from a manufacturing to a postindustrial economy will redefine the way Americans think about our families, communities, and future.

"An excellent study not only of the cultural disruptions caused by the shutdown of Chrysler's operations in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but also of the ideology of progress that abetted the shutdown."—Stephen Amberg, Industrial and Labor Relations Review

"With the eye of an anthropologist, [Dudley] examines the tensions between the 'culture of hands' and the 'culture of mind.' Her account is especially instructive because, by many measures, Kenosha has successfully recovered, yet for many the pain still remains."—Booklist

"Exceptional. . . . Should be widely read."—Douglas Harper, Contemporary Sociology

"Make[s] clear what a tenuous concept economic security is, especially when the rules for achieving security are in flux."—Barbara Presley Noble, New York Times

Synopsis:

An evocative and powerful portrait of America in transition, The End of the Line tells the story of what the 1988 closing of the Chrysler assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, meant to the people who lived in that company town. Since the early days of the twentieth century, Kenosha had forged its identity and politics around the interests of the auto industry. When nearly six thousand workers lost their jobs in the shutdown, the community faced not only a serious economic crisis but also a profound moral one. In this innovative study, Dudley describes the painful, often confusing process of change that residents of Kenosha, like the increasing number of Americans who are caught in the crossfire of deindustrialization, were forced to undergo. Through interviews with displaced autoworkers and Kenosha's community leaders, high-school counselors, and a rising class of upwardly mobile professionals, Dudley dramatizes the lessons Kenoshans drew from the plant shutdown. When economic forces intrude on our lives, the resulting changes in earning power, status, and access to opportunity affect our sense of who we are, what we are worth, the nature of the world we live in, and in particular, what it takes to succeed. Dudley examines how ideas about self-worth - especially those based on market ideologies of competition and the Darwinian notion that only the fittest survive - become the subject of intense cultural conflict. Dudley describes a community in conflict with itself: while Kenosha's autoworkers struggle to regain an economic foothold and make sense of their suddenly devalued place in society, white-collar workers, professionals, and a new wave of politicians see themselves at thevanguard of a new moral order that redefines community as a "culture of mind" instead of the traditional "culture of hands" long associated with the work of the assembly line. This honest, moving portrait of one town's radical shift from a manufacturing to a postindustrial economy will redefine the way Americans across class lines think about our families, communities, and future.

Synopsis:

The End of the Line tells the story of the 1988 closing of the Chrysler assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathryn Marie Dudley uses interviews with residents to chart the often confusing process of change that deindustrialization forced on every corner of the community. This honest, moving portrait of one town's radical shift from a manufacturing to a postindustrial economy will redefine the way Americans think about our families, communities, and future.

About the Author

Kathryn Marie Dudley is professor of American studies and anthropology at Yale University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: The Tradition of Opportunity

Part One: What Happened to the American Dream?

1. Kenosha Had a Dream

2. Keep Kenosha Open!

3. Dollars and Diplomas

Part Two: Culture of the Mind

4. Turning the Tables

5. Social Darwinism Revisited

6. That Haunting Thing

Part Three: Culture of the Hands

7. Shopfloor Culture

8. Badges of Ability

9. Broken Promises

10. Mapping the Moral Terrain

Conclusion: American Primitive

Appendix: The Kenosha Workforce

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226169101
Author:
Dudley, Kathryn Marie
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Dudley, Kathryn Marie
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Subject:
Labor and laboring classes
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Morality and Society Series
Publication Date:
19970631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
14 halftones, 3 maps, 8 line drawings, 7
Pages:
250
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » General
History and Social Science » Anthropology » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » US History » General

The End of the Line: Lost Jobs, New Lives in Postindustrial America Used Trade Paper
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Product details 250 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226169101 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An evocative and powerful portrait of America in transition, The End of the Line tells the story of what the 1988 closing of the Chrysler assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, meant to the people who lived in that company town. Since the early days of the twentieth century, Kenosha had forged its identity and politics around the interests of the auto industry. When nearly six thousand workers lost their jobs in the shutdown, the community faced not only a serious economic crisis but also a profound moral one. In this innovative study, Dudley describes the painful, often confusing process of change that residents of Kenosha, like the increasing number of Americans who are caught in the crossfire of deindustrialization, were forced to undergo. Through interviews with displaced autoworkers and Kenosha's community leaders, high-school counselors, and a rising class of upwardly mobile professionals, Dudley dramatizes the lessons Kenoshans drew from the plant shutdown. When economic forces intrude on our lives, the resulting changes in earning power, status, and access to opportunity affect our sense of who we are, what we are worth, the nature of the world we live in, and in particular, what it takes to succeed. Dudley examines how ideas about self-worth - especially those based on market ideologies of competition and the Darwinian notion that only the fittest survive - become the subject of intense cultural conflict. Dudley describes a community in conflict with itself: while Kenosha's autoworkers struggle to regain an economic foothold and make sense of their suddenly devalued place in society, white-collar workers, professionals, and a new wave of politicians see themselves at thevanguard of a new moral order that redefines community as a "culture of mind" instead of the traditional "culture of hands" long associated with the work of the assembly line. This honest, moving portrait of one town's radical shift from a manufacturing to a postindustrial economy will redefine the way Americans across class lines think about our families, communities, and future.
"Synopsis" by , The End of the Line tells the story of the 1988 closing of the Chrysler assembly plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Kathryn Marie Dudley uses interviews with residents to chart the often confusing process of change that deindustrialization forced on every corner of the community. This honest, moving portrait of one town's radical shift from a manufacturing to a postindustrial economy will redefine the way Americans think about our families, communities, and future.
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