Austere Lives: Marginalised Women Gaining a ‘Voice’ in the Former Durham Coalfields

Jo Forster


The role of women in former mining communities in County Durham has undergone significant changes since the time of the Miners’ Strike (1984-1985). The miners’ defeat was followed by the closure of the collieries and the redundancies of 50,000 men (Beynon et al, 1991, p.160), an event which radically changed family life as role reversal took place in the home when work disappeared for men. Cockburn (1977, p.179), a decade previously, had recognised that where deindustrialisation occurred ‘capital has actually defined the very shape of the family’.  This was certainly the case in mining communities in County Durham.


Community Development; Neo Liberalism; Miners Strike; Adult Education

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ISSN 2042-6968 (Online)
ISSN 1359-1983 (Print)