An alterfactual methodological approach to labour history : the case of the British miners' strike 1984-5

Darlington, RR 2014, 'An alterfactual methodological approach to labour history : the case of the British miners' strike 1984-5' , Labor History, 55 (2) .

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Abstract

In recent years, a small number of the so-called ‘counterfactual’ or ‘what-if’ historical books, which ask us to imagine what would have happened if events in the past had turned out differently than they did, have been published. They have stimulated an important, albeit not entirely new, methodological debate about issues and questions which are (or should be) of central relevance to the work of labor historians, and which such labor historians need to engage with and contribute towards. This brief discussion article attempts to do this by presenting one particular Marxist viewpoint, with the hope and expectation that others (hopefully supportive but possibly critical of the argument presented here) will follow. In the process, it examines the past use (and abuse) of the counterfactual within historical analysis, presents an argument for the validity of a refined and renamed ‘alterfactual’ approach and examines the use of such an alterfactual approach to the British miners' strike of 1984–1985.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School > Salford Business School Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Labor History
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0023-656X
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: RR Darlington
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2014 17:22
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2017 00:49
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/31001

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