One Job Town: Work, Belonging, and Betrayal in Northern Ontario
There’s a pervasive sense of betrayal in areas scarred by mine, mill and factory closures. Steven High’s One Job Town delves into the long history of deindustrialization in the paper-making town of Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, located on Canada’s resource periphery. Much like hundreds of other towns and cities across North America and Europe, Sturgeon Falls has lost their primary source of industry, resulting in the displacement of workers and their families.
One Job Town takes us into the making of a culture of industrialism and the significance of industrial work for mill-working families. One Job Town approaches deindustrialization as a long term, economic, political, and cultural process, which did not begin and simply end with the closure of the local mill in 2002. High examines the work-life histories of fifty paper mill workers and managers, as well as city officials, to gain an in-depth understanding of the impact of the formation and dissolution of a culture of industrialism. Oral history and memory are at the heart of One Job Town, challenging us to rethink the relationship between the past and the present in what was formerly known as the industrialized world.
- World Rights
- Page Count: 392 pages
- Dimensions: 6.9in x 1.0in x 10.0in
Reviews“One Job Town is a book I had always hoped to write. Steven High deftly explores the challenges that face peripheral regions and provides a clear, at times refreshingly appropriately blunt, assessment of economic, social, cultural, and political realities of not only Sturgeon Falls but the vast majority of communities in Northern Ontario.”
Michel Beaulieu, Department of History, Lakehead University
"Steven High is one of the most creative scholars of deindustrialization, oral, and public history. One Job Town is a creative and moving account of a paper mill’s life and death and showcases High’s talents in a focused case study of a single mill for the first time. Here, High has ably documented the history of a community that has been largely ignored in Canadian history and is often forgotten by power brokers in Toronto and Ottawa."
Jeffrey T. Manuel, Department of History, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Author InformationSteven High is professor of History at Concordia University and co-founder of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling.
Table of contents
A. Tentative Beginnings
1. The Industrial Frontier
2. A Town on Trial
B. Shopfloor Realities
3. Working Lives
4. Accident Stories
5. Upstairs, Downstairs
6. The Raised Fist
C. Decline and Final Closure
7. Managing Decline
8. Recycled Dreams
10. Proximity and Distance
11. Salvaging History
AwardsThe Clio Ontario Region Prize awarded by the Canadian Historical Association - Winner in 2019
2018 OHS Fred Landon Award awarded by the Ontario Historical Society - Winner in 2019
Subjects and Courses