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Craft as work-life unity: the careers of skilled working class men and their sons and grandsons after deindustrialisation

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This article focuses on the enduring significance of craft in the careers of Kent Royal Dockyard craft workers and their sons and grandsons after deindustrialisation. The closure of this naval shipbuilding and repair yard together with the subsequent move to post-industrial employment did not end men’s engagement with their craft practices. Instead this developed into ‘a craft outlook’ defined by a motivation for performing actualising labour that interwove paid and non-paid work. Men’s careers did not become individualised projects of self as collaborative intergenerational practices gave a long-term narrative to their careers and lives. Therefore three contributions are proposed to the literature on working class male careers and craft. First, an analytical framework is advanced that empirically distinguishes a ‘craft outlook’ from traditional manual trade employment. Second, a craft outlook reflected ‘whole life careers’ that were constructed from both paid and non-paid work. Third, the concept of ‘human imprint’ is developed to recognise the generational affirmation produced by the transmission of craft practices.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Early online date12 Dec 2018
Publication statusEarly online - 12 Dec 2018


  • 09-05-2018 Craft as work-life unity upload to pure

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Ackers GK. Craft as work–life unity: The careers of skilled working‐class men and their sons and grandsons after deindustrialization. Gender Work Organ. 2018;1–17, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 908 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 12/12/20

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