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Smokestacks in the HillsRural-Industrial Workers in West Virginia$
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Lou Martin

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039454

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039454.001.0001

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Country People and Capital Mobility

(p.179) Conclusion
Smokestacks in the Hills

Lou Martin

University of Illinois Press

This concluding chapter examines how the rural-industrial working-class culture that emerged in Hancock County gradually disappeared in the late twentieth century. The ethic of making do traveled well from the farm to the factory town, but it began its decline in the late 1960s and 1970s as buying power increased and industrial workers focused more on vacations or socializing and less on making do. While many people in Hancock County still tend gardens, work on their houses, hunt, and fish, these activities no longer supplement family income the way they did in the 1950s. Moreover, the localism of their culture may have persisted in some ways to the present, but a localized system of negotiation that local manufacturers helped create disappeared along with many of those companies.

Keywords:   rural-industrial working class, Hancock County, factory town, buying power, industrial workers, localism

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