The stress of work and work of stress in Britain in the late twentieth century

Kirby, Jill (2022) The stress of work and work of stress in Britain in the late twentieth century. Contemporary British History. pp. 1-24. ISSN 1361-9462

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Abstract

This article examines how stress was used as a means of explaining and understanding the changes that were taking place in large sections of Britain’s workforce during the 1980s and 1990s. By bringing together personal accounts of how people understood and explained the effects of these adjustments on their everyday lives with the popular discourse of stress in the media, I will show how stress became a key means of interpreting the significant social and economic change that was occurring. It also brought about change in both working practices and the ways in which work and well-being were understood by both individual workers and their employers. I will also examine how newspaper reporting of stress suffered by public sector workers, particularly in the NHS and education, revealed the tensions underlying reforms in these areas and will argue that by focusing on worker experience of stress, such reporting effectively drew attention away from the underlying structural changes causing that stress.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > History
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 16:24
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 16:44
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/106286

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