Something to show for it: the place of mementoes in women’s oral histories of work

Wall, C. (2009) Something to show for it: the place of mementoes in women’s oral histories of work. In: International Labour Process Conference, April 2009, Edinburgh.

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Workplace memorabilia, regarded here as artifacts and mementoes kept from workplaces and stored in homes, is varied, including; tools of a trade, ephemeral leaflets and pamphlets, union mementoes, uniforms and badges, long service awards, gifts from colleagues, and photographs both formal and informal. These objects can symbolize many years of work-life history and the corollary of this, their absence, perhaps the need to forget the drudgery of ‘the daily grind’. The materiality of an object saved or taken from the workplace often prompts reminiscence (Bornat, 2001) but can also, in itself and its method of display, represent and express key identities, work processes and traditions. Using examples from a three year ESRC funded project on work and identity this paper focuses on the women who participated in the study and investigates what is kept or not, whether the ways in which work memorabilia is displayed or stored is gendered, and how this might illuminate gendered social relations in the workplace and gendered work identities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: University of Westminster > Architecture and the Built Environment
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Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2012 09:47
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2016 13:28

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