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Exit ZeroFamily and Class in Postindustrial Chicago$
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Christine J. Walley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226871790

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226871813.001.0001

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It All Came Tumbling Down: My Father and the Demise of Chicago's Steel Industry

It All Came Tumbling Down: My Father and the Demise of Chicago's Steel Industry

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter Two It All Came Tumbling Down: My Father and the Demise of Chicago's Steel Industry
Source:
Exit Zero
Author(s):

Christine J. Walley

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226871813.003.0003

This chapter describes the traumas of deindustrialization in Southeast Chicago through the experiences of the author's father and the rest of her family in the aftermath of Wisconsin Steel's shutdown. Instead of viewing the emergence of the nation's “rust belt” as part of an evolutionary transformation in which the short-term costs of deindustrialization would give way to a more dynamic and expansive “new economy,” these stories underscore how deindustrialization has contributed to the far-reaching disenfranchisement of working people. The chapter calls into question the presumed causes of deindustrialization and asks who benefited and who lost from such transformations and why certain public responses won out over others.

Keywords:   deindustrialization, Southeast Chicago, working class, working people, disenfranchisement

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