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Wages of War: Manufacturing Nationalism During World War II

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During World War II the state created a new and deeper set of relationships with defense contractors. These contractors manufactured the vast majority of war materials and relied extensively on the state for financing. These same contractors also encouraged workers and civilians to understand their every minute action as contributing to the war effort. In order to fully integrate workers’ and civilians’ lives into the war effort, the state and industry created and distributed a war wage—a sense of contribution, national belonging, and sacrifice. In this paper I analyze the wartime records of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company in order to understand how the state and industry created the war wage alongside the military–industrial complex. With the help of the war wage, the state and industry radically expanded the production of war materials and enlisted a more compliant population of workers and civilians into the war effort.
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Keywords: Westinghouse; homeland; militarization; military–industrial complex; nationalism; war

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada;, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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