Powerlessness in Peripheral Regions: The Case of the Non-militant Miner

Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS, volume 19)


The creation and maintenance of peripheral status and the attendant feature of dependency is due not only to the rise and fall of economic fortune, the depletion of resources or the ebb and flow of technological development; it is due also to the dialectical relations between individual and group and between consciousness and economic power. In the context of peripheral regions within a capitalist economy, the analysis of such relations necessarily focuses on both temporal and spatial dimensions of the formation and maintenance of the labour force in a condition that best suits the requirements of dominant forces in the national and international economies. One crucial characteristic of the labour force in a peripheral region is that consciousness seldom develops to the extent that dependency relations can be severed. Powerlessness is created and maintained in the labour force by the existence and use of power relationships involving an ‘engineering of consent’ and hegemonic aspects. These particular uses of power are applicable to populations on the periphery of industrial society but still contained within a single political unit, the nation-state.


Labour Force Peripheral Region Mining Company Dependency Theory Mining Community 
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© Gareth Rees, Janet Bujra, Paul Littlewood, Howard Newby, and Teresa L. Rees 1985

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