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Labour's Hidden Soul: Religion at the Intersection of Labour and the Environment

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This study examines the intersection of individual life-histories, organisational histories and societal histories and reveals how religion, in several different expressions, serves to provide a connection between justice for workers and justice for the environment in the work of trade unionists. The trade union movement is generally seen as secular, and thus in our life-history interviews finding religion as a backdrop to labour activists' formation was unexpected. Religion becomes manifest in various ways, partly through experiences in the present or at formative periods in unionists' lives, but also through its cultural embeddedness in language and collective memory. In this way it serves to provide subtle influences on beliefs, concepts of social justice and daily action.
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Keywords: climate change; environmental justice; environmental labour studies; religion; trade unions

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2019

This article was made available online on June 14, 2019 as a Fast Track article with title: "Labour’s Hidden Soul: Religion at the Intersection of Labour and the Environment".

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2019) of 2.158. 5 Year Impact Factor: 2.047.
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