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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs.

Strathprints serves world leading Open Access research by the University of Strathclyde, including research by the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences (SIPBS), where research centres such as the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), the Cancer Research UK Formulation Unit, SeaBioTech and the Centre for Biophotonics are based.

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Oral history, subjectivity, and environmental reality: occupational health histories in twentieth-century scotland

Johnston, R. and McIvor, A.J. (2004) Oral history, subjectivity, and environmental reality: occupational health histories in twentieth-century scotland. In: OSIRIS:Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Illness in Modern Environments. Osiris, 2nd Series, 19 . JSTOR, United States, pp. 234-249. ISBN 0–226–53251–8

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Abstract

This essay uses oral histories of dust disease in twentieth-century Scotland to illustrate the ways in which such history can illuminate how the working environment and work cultures affect workers' bodies and how workers come to terms with the ill-health caused by their employment. It emphasizes the agency of the interpreter but argues further that oral histories of dust disease in twentieth-century Scotland are simultaneously influenced by, and evidence for, material conditions. The essay explores the notion that the bodies, not just the voices of interviewees, are material testament to health-corroding work practices, cultures, and habitat. The focus is the problems caused by the inhalation of coal and asbestos dust.