CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

Throughout the 20th century, the world of labour and workers’ conditions were riddled with numerous, intersecting fault lines, which were deepened by the scale of industrial restructuring and haemorrhaging of the workforce since the 1970s and 80s. This article, which explores the relationships between career inequality, professional mobility and economic recession, investigates the destabilisation of the workers’ world through the prism of workers’ careers. A prosopographical approach is adopted in order to observe the transformation of miner’s careers – primarily French and Moroccan miners – in the Houillères du Bassin du Nord-Pas-de-Calais (nationalised collieries), from their creation in 1946 to their permanent closure in December 1990, throughout the implementation of recession policy in the coal industry.

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