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Other titles in the Body, Commodity, Text: Studies of Objectifying Practice series:
Bodies of Work: Civic Display and Labor in Industrial Pittsburgh (Body, Commodity, Text: Studies of Objectifying Practice)by Edward Slavishak
Synopses & Reviews
By the end of the nineteenth century, Pittsburgh emerged as a major manufacturing center in the United States. Its rise as a leading producer of steel, glass, and coal was fueled by machine technology and mass immigration, developments that fundamentally changed the industrial workplace. Because Pittsburghandrsquo;s major industries were almost exclusively male and renowned for their physical demands, the male working body came to symbolize multiple often contradictory narratives about strength and vulnerability, mastery and exploitation. In Bodies of Work, Edward Slavishak explores how Pittsburgh and the working body were symbolically linked in civic celebrations, the research of social scientists, the criticisms of labor reformers, advertisements, and workersandrsquo; self-representations. Combining labor and cultural history with visual culture studies, he chronicles a heated contest to define Pittsburghandrsquo;s essential character at the turn of the twentieth century, and he describes how that contest was conducted largely through the production of competing images.
Slavishak focuses on the workers whose bodies came to epitomize Pittsburgh, the men engaged in the arduous physical labor demanded by the cityandrsquo;s metals, glass, and coal industries. At the same time, he emphasizes how conceptions of Pittsburgh as quintessentially male limited representations of women in the industrial workplace. The threat of injury or violence loomed large for industrial workers at the turn of the twentieth century, and it recurs throughout Bodies of Work: in the marketing of artificial limbs, statistical assessments of the physical toll of industrial capitalism, clashes between labor and management, the introduction of workplace safety procedures, and the development of a statewide workmenandrsquo;s compensation system.
Cultural history of the relationship between labor and the city in turn-of-the-century Pittsburgh, which focuses on how the working-class body was used to symbolize Pittsburgh as a city of industry.
About the Author
Edward Slavishak is Assistant Professor of History at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.
Table of Contents
Note on Usage xiii
1. The Magic of the Nineteenth Century: Industrial Change and Work in Pittsburgh 17
2. Working-Class Muscle in the Battle of Homestead 64
3. The Working Body as Civic Image 89
4. The Pittsburgh Survey and the Body as Evidence 149
5. andquot;Delicately Builtandquot;: The andquot;Problemandquot; of Working Women in Pittsburgh 200
6. Hiding and Displaying the Broken Body 224
Epilogue: andquot;That's Work, and That's What People Like to Watch!andquot; 265
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