FRAL - Appel Franco-allemand en sciences humaines et sociales

Desindustrialisisation in France and Germany: Experiences and Emotionen from the early 1960s to the present time. The Unmaking of the Working Class? – DesinEE

Submission summary

Directed by Stefan Berger, Emmanuel Droit et Fabian Lemmes, DesinEE defines itself as a research program dedicated to a comparative and transnational history of Deindustrialization as socio-political and emotional experiences of the transformation of the working-class culture from the early 1960s to the present time.
The subtitle of our project refers in an explicit way to the pioneer study of E.P. Thompson about the sociability of the English workers. In a French-German perspective, we want to focus on the contemporary impact of the deindustrialization on workers, on the transformation of workers communities that we also understand as emotional communities.
Three main questions will constitute the foundation of our project:
1. How does deindustrialisation reconfigure the experiences of impacted workers and what kind of emotions are generated by this socio-economic process?
2. How do these experiences and emotions product effects on the political identity in terms of habitus, ideological consciousness and practices?
3. How does deindustrialisation as a lived experience create new forms and dynamics of social life emerging from a former social order?
In order to grasp the complexity of this process at the grass roots, different socio-economic and industrial regions have been selected for the field research carried out by the subproject. Each researcher defined a field of work, either in a French-German perspective or in a transregional (Sarre-Lor-Lux). Small and medium-sized industrial cities in Alsace, Lorraine Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt will serve as case studies beside the analysis of the big traditional industrial spaces in the northern part of France, the Ruhr.
This project is based on a rich variety of sources. We will produce a shared Oral History Program with overview and specific individual and collective interviews of former workers for each case study We want to gather written and video materials from the companies, the Trade Unions, the local newspaper
In this context of depoliticisation and the rise of right extremist movements in territories impacted by the deindustrialisation, our project has also a political significance and a very strong civic dimension. Far away from a negative discours, we aim at focusing on the complexity regarding both the reconfiguration of social and political relations and the transformation of cultural identities in this socalled post-industrial regions

Project coordination

Emmanuel Droit (LinCS Laboratoire interdisciplinaire en études culturelles)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LinCs LinCS Laboratoire interdisciplinaire en études culturelles
RUB Ruhr-Universität Bochum Institut für soziale Bewegungen – Historisches Institut

Help of the ANR 621,477 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: August 2022 - 36 Months

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