Class, Labour, and the Public

David A. Gadsby and Robert C. Chidester

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

Class, Labour, and the Public

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  • Archaeology
  • Contemporary and Public Archaeology



This article discusses the approaches that historical archaeologists have taken towards class and labour, and the various ways in which this research has been shared with the public. It is within this socio-political and historiographical context that some historical archaeologists have studied working-class communities and issues of labour and capitalism over the past quarter-century. As archaeologists have realized about the topics of race and gender, the archaeology of class can have a profound impact on the public discourse. Practice and interpretation in archaeology are always political. The rise of postmodern thought in archaeology has brought about a shift in focus from ecological/adaptive approaches to those that stress social relations. It is the ethical duty of archaeologists and global citizens to ensure that the work is used to promote social justice.

Keywords: historical archaeologists; labour; class; public; ethical duty; social justice

Article.  9714 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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