“Investigating Community, Identity and Economic Change in the Ex-Mining Communities of Central Fife after 1985” – Amber Ward (online seminar)
The next Nottingham Trent University’s Oral History Network seminar is taking place online on Wednesday 30 March @ 1pm.
Amber Ward will be giving a paper entitled “Investigating Community, Identity and Economic Change in the Ex-Mining Communities of Central Fife after 1985”. If you would like to attend, please register via this link.
About this event
Amber’s PhD investigates how economic changes are felt, manifested and rationalised by people across different communities and demographics within ex-mining localities. Focussing on the ex-mining communities of central Fife, Scotland, Amber’s study uses group oral history discussion sessions to enquire into the different, perhaps contrasting, perceptions of the changes brought about by the concentrated coalfield deindustrialization of the 1980s and 1990s, and the place of these changes within individual and collective memory. Her research approaches coalfield deindustrialisation from a cultural perspective; paying particular attention to the experiences of ethnic, racial and LGBTQ+ communities.
In 2020, the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ranked an area of central Fife as the most deprived ex-mining locality in Scotland. In the UK, such areas are often branded as ‘left behind’ localities. However, in considering various perceptions of community, identity and change, Amber’s project hopes to move beyond such one-dimensional, hollow and prescriptive narratives. Further, by inviting local community organisations to share their memories of recent social change, the project also considers the impact of deindustrialization beyond contexts of labour and production. By extension, this project attempts to shift the scope of deindustrialization studies beyond that of the ‘traditional’, much-mythologized, ‘white working class.’
Amber Ward is a second-year PhD student in the Department of History at the University of St Andrews. Her work uses oral history to investigate community, identity and consciousness in Fife’s ex-mining communities in the aftermath of the miners’ strike of 1984/5