'Bottom dog men': disability, social welfare and advocacy in the Scottish coalfields in the interwar years, 1918–1939

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This article builds on and connects with recent research on workmen's compensation and disability focussing on the Scottish coalfields between the wars. It draws upon a range of primary sources including coal company accident books, court cases and trade union records to analyse efforts to define and redefine disability, examining the language deployed and the agency of workers and their advocates. It is argued here that the workmen’s compensation system associated disability with restricted functionality relating to work tasks and work environments. Disability became more visible and more closely monitored and this was a notably contested and adversarial terrain in Scotland in the Depression, where employers, workers and their collective organisations increasingly deployed medical expertise to support their cases regarding working and disabled bodies. In Scotland, the miners' trade unions emerged as key advocates for the disabled.
LanguageEnglish
Pages187-213
Number of pages27
JournalScottish Historical Review
Volume96
Issue number2
Early online date30 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2017

Fingerprint

Advocacy
Social Welfare
Dog
Interwar Years
Trade Unions
Workers
Scotland
Employers
Language
Primary Source
Work Environment
Court Cases
Medical Expertise
Accidents
Visible
Functionality

Keywords

  • disability
  • worker compensation
  • work accidents
  • trade unions
  • advocacy

Cite this

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