Chapter

After the Deluge

Michael Dennis

in The New Economy and the Modern South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780813032917
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038407 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813032917.003.0003
After the Deluge

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The dominant reality for office workers from Richmond to Roanoke was insecurity. The possibility of being laid off or simply eliminated as a result of corporate restructuring burrowed deeply into the subconscious of Virginia's workers in the new Gilded Age. It created an atmosphere of profound social anxiety, one that was no less intense because it happened in Virginia. There was nothing peculiarly southern about the economic forces that were transforming career-minded people into temporary, part-time, and contract workers. What happened to middle managers, secretaries, salespeople, and manufacturing supervisors in Virginia happened to those in Michigan, Ohio, and New York. The economic uncertainties of the new era bound the regions together in a collective experience of reduced hopes, limited expectations, and persistent fears. Yet the recession of 1990/1991 generated a depth of anguish in Virginia that set it apart from its southern counterparts.

Keywords: job insecurity; Virginia; corporate restructuring; downsizing; economic recession

Chapter.  14459 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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