Worker’s Housing and Class Struggle in the Northern Forest

Author(s): LouAnn Wurst

Year: 2017


Worker’s housing is the material embodiment of the contradictions and class struggle between capital and labor. These contradictions stem from capital’s goal of securing cheap and reliable labor while workers strive for higher wages and gaining a measure of control and autonomy over their own lives. Archaeologists tend to overly simplify these complex social relations by uncritically adopting common ideological descriptions such as paternalism or overusing dualisms like dominance and resistance. In this paper, I use archaeological data from the cordwood lumber camps in the Coalwood District of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula operated by Cleveland Cliffs Iron Company in the first decade of the 20th century to explore the complexity of worker housing and the capitalist class struggle.

Cite this Record

Worker’s Housing and Class Struggle in the Northern Forest. LouAnn Wurst. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435161)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


capital Labor Lumber

Geographic Keywords
North America United States of America

Temporal Keywords
Early 20th Century

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 183