Transformed landscapes and a transnational identity of class: Narratives on (post-)industrial landscapes in Europe

Meier L., AYTEKİN E. A.

INTERNATIONAL SOCIOLOGY, vol.34, no.1, pp.99-116, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 34 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0268580918812278
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.99-116
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Based on 222 qualitative interviews conducted through a large ethnographic research project on transformed industrial landscapes in six countries, the main argument of the article is threefold. First, landscapes and narratives about past and present landscapes are relevant to the identity of class; second, the transformation of industrial landscapes is most emphatically expressed by nostalgia; third, the narratives are a transnationally constitutive element of class identity. The narratives of workers about the transformation and destruction of former workplaces express an identity crisis as seen in feelings of mourning and indifference. However, this does not indicate an erosion in the relevance of identity. Considering class as also having an emotional dimension, the article demonstrates that a class identity also evolves out of loss and longing. As nostalgia for a past now gone is a common narrative identity element in the research areas, it is considered as constitutive of a transnational class identity.