Volume 55 part 1 (April 2010)


Ronald Johnston and Elaine McFarland. "Out in the Open in Threatening World": The Scottish Churches' Industrial Mission 1960-1980
By combining archival research with the oral testimony of ex-industrial chaplains - and others with direct experience of industrial mission - this article explores a neglected dimension of religious outreach, and attempts to provide a nuanced interpretation of the inter-relationship between deindustrialization and secularization in post-1960 Britain. By 1965, over 100 industrial chaplains operated throughout industrial Scotland across a range of industries. Functioning at the cutting edge of the Kirk's efforts to halt what was clearly identified as a slide in faith, the chaplains were also perfectly placed to bear witness to Scotland's traumatic and painful process of deindustrialisation. Historians agree that the correlation between falling church attendances and religious belief is problematic, and this case study presents clear evidence that "discursive Christianity" remained significant in Scotland well into the 1980s. However, this research also highlights that institutional religion was far from passive in the face of secularization, and that the very presence of chaplains in the workplaces helped bolster the credibility of religion in a secularizing society.

William Kenefick. Confronting White Labourism: Socialism, Syndicalism, and the Role of the Scottish Radical Left in South Africa before 1914
Dominated by the ideas of the "communist school", the early history of the socialist and revolutionary syndicalist movement in South Africa has (until relatively recently) been largely overlooked by labour historians. From this approach emerged the view that the dominant voice of white workers in South Africa was British, and to a lesser extent Australian, and that their blend of class and racial consciousness resulted in the widespread support for the common ideology of white labourism. Indeed, support for this system of industrial and racial segregation was prevalent across the British Empire, was widely supported by the imperial working class, and in South Africa was never seriously challenged or confronted before 1914. Over recent years, however, South African labour historians have made efforts to rethink their national labour history by examining the early labour movement and the ideology of white labourism in a global context. This article adopts a similar approach and argues that the politics of white labourism was not uniformly embraced by the imperial working class, and that in South Africa there was a vocal and active non-racialist movement which sought to confront racism and segregation, dispute the operation of the "colour bar", and challenge the white protectionist policies of the labour and trade-union movement. In conclusion it will be argued that the campaign to confront white labourism was disproportionately influenced by radical left Scottish migrants who adhered firmly to the colour-blind principles of international socialism and revolutionary syndicalism.

Jonathan Hyslop. Scottish Labour, Race, and Southern African Empire c.1880-1922: A Reply to Kenefick
In his article in the current edition of International Review of Social History, the Scottish historian Billy Kenefick argues against my thesis that the labour force of the United Kingdom and the settler colonies in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can be understood as having constituted a linked 'imperial working class' in which an ideology of racialised white labour protectionism predominated. Kenefick believes that in South Africa British socialists challenged white labourism, and that Scottish immigrants played a very prominent role in this anti-racist project. My reply traces the relationship between Scottish national identity, imperialism, and the labour movement. It then examines the evidence on the racial politics of Scottish trade unionists in South Africa and argues that, with a very few individual exceptions, they did buy into the ideas of white labourism. Finally, the article considers Scottish labour attitudes to race in the home country, and demonstrates that there was strong sympathy for the racial labour politics of the settler colonies.

Peter Heumos. Workers under Communist Rule: Research in the Former Socialist Countries of Eastern Central and South Eastern Europe and in the Federal Republic of Germany
After the collapse of the communist system in Eastern Europe, the development of the historiographies in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and the Federal Republic of German has been characterized by a broad spectrum of differences. This article offers an overview of the ways in which these differences have worked out for the history of the working class in the Eastern European countries under communist rule, understood here as the social history of workers. It shows that cultural and political traditions and the "embedding" of historical research in the respective societies prior to 1989, the extent to which historiography after 1989 was able to connect to pre-1989 social-historical or sociological investigations, and the specific national political situation after 1989 make up for much of the differences in the ways that the history of the working class is dealt with in the countries concerned.