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Dicks, Bella. “Performing the Hidden Injuries of Class in Coal-Mining Heritage.” Sociology 42(3) (2008): 436-52.


Industrial heritage deals directly with working-class experiencein a very public forum, but has not really been analysed inrelation to class issues. This article discusses the case ofex-workers re-employed as heritage guides to tell the storyof their own lives at a living history coalmining-museum, exploringthe nature of the performances/representations of class thatare produced. Heritage performance is caught up in a doublebind that is familiar to other kinds of working-class representation:a continual equivocation between foregrounding dignity and autonomyon the one hand, and acknowledging subjugation and defeat onthe other.This tension is played out, though differently, bothin the guides' past occupations and their present ones.The articleexamines the public narratives they produce for visitors inthe here and now as well as locating these in an understandingof their current positions as tour guide employees and theirliving through of their memories and identities as mineworkers.