Negotiating the shop floor: Employee and union loyalties in British and American retail, 1939-1970

Cushman, Joy (2004) Negotiating the shop floor: Employee and union loyalties in British and American retail, 1939-1970. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In the last two decades historians have developed theories and case studies of 'identity' in efforts to explain the ways in which individuals have negotiated their place in and relation to society at different periods in many different cultures. However, little historical attention has yet been paid to 'loyalty' as a distinct sociological concept or as a process of negotiation highly interrelated with identity formation. The overall aim of this thesis, then, is to set out a model of loyalty that can further explain the negotiation of relationships between individuals and institutions, while highlighting the investment institutional leaders have had in securing identification with and loyalty to their organisational and ideological agendas. The major tenet of this model is that there are important distinctions to be made between fundamental, functional, and ideological loyalties, the purposes these loyalties could serve, and the different interpersonal techniques necessary for the solicitation and maintenance of each of these loyalties. The underlying premise of this model is that loyalties were always historically specific and must therefore be studied with continual reference to the specific historical contexts in which they were solicited, constructed, negotiated and maintained. Consequently, this study focuses on trade union and employee loyalties in the department and variety store trades of America and Britain between 1939 and 1970. The historical analysis of shop work and retail industrial relations in the post-war period is extremely limited to date. In turn, this study of loyalties in the retail trades has required analysis of some of the major developments in managerial style, labour market dynamics, trade union recruitment, and business and labour politics in British and American retail from the 1940s through the '60s. The emphasis throughout is on explaining how these developments affected the importance of shopworkers' loyalties to employers and unions, the ways in which those loyalties were solicited, and the success with which employers' and unions' efforts were met.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Adviser: Jim Phillips
Keywords: Labor relations
Date of Award: 2004
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2004-74067
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2019 15:33
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/74067

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