From Aberfan to the ‘Canvey Factor’: schools, children and industrial disasters

Article


Preston, J. 2014. From Aberfan to the ‘Canvey Factor’: schools, children and industrial disasters. British Journal of Sociology of Education. 37 (4), pp. 607-622.
AuthorsPreston, J.
Abstract

Children, and schools, are potent symbols of victimhood in industrial disasters. In the case of historical industrial disasters such as Aberfan and Flixborough, and in terms of preparation for future industrial disasters under Control of Major Accident Hazard regulations, communities are seen as passive responders to accidents. Moreover, following industrial accidents, communities are frequently accused of culpability or profiting from the disaster. There is hence a double pathologisation in play, with communities seen as comprising passive victims and manipulative survivors. Using an historical approach, the official accounts of the Aberfan and Flixborough industrial accidents are challenged with a focus on schools and children. Rather than being passive victims of these accidents, schools and children demonstrated agency in terms of their tacit knowledge, reporting potential accidents and recording their consequences. This provides a lens through which to interrogate current policy on industrial safety as it relates to schools and communities.

Keywordsschools; disasters; agency; class; race; archives
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Journal citation37 (4), pp. 607-622
Year2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/01425692.2014.961596
Web address (URL)http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01425692.2014.961596
Publication dates
Print28 Oct 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited09 Sep 2014
Accepted05 Aug 2014
FunderEconomic and Social Research Council
Copyright informationThis is an Accepted Manuscript of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Sociology of Education, to be made available online at http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01425692.2014.961596
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