'A greater concentration of purpose' : the intellectual legacy of Eric Fry and Robin Gollan
Burgmann, Verity. (2008) 'A greater concentration of purpose' : the intellectual legacy of Eric Fry and Robin Gollan. Labour History, Vol.94 . pp. 25-42. ISSN 0023-6942Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/lab/94/...
Terry Irving and Sean Scalmer argue that the establishment of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (ASSLH) in 1961 and commencement of Labour History in January 1962 symbolically marked the 'second generational moment' of labour history. The first generation of Australian labour historians had produced significant work, but the second generation proceeded with 'a greater concentration of purpose' than their predecessors and so labour history 'arrived' as a complex and rewarding intellectual project. Eric Fry and Robin Gollan were central figures of this second generation and their concentration of purpose is manifest. In assessing their intellectual legacy, it is interesting to reflect on the nature of their sense of purpose and how it nourished and nurtured a labour history that was distinctive.
Firstly, Fry and Gollan encouraged labour history that was sympathetic to the subjects under scrutiny; and this commitment to the working class and labour movement, in the Cold War circumstances of the time, required courage. Secondly, it was rigorous in its attention to empirical research and exacting standards of scholarship. Thirdly, it was critical and sceptical, not slave to accepted wisdoms of any school of thought, whether conservative or progressive. Fourthly, it aspired from the outset to breadth of scope and orientation and became increasingly wide-ranging. These distinguishing attributes, which were causally connected and mutually reinforcing, enabled labour history to arrive, survive and flourish – and then adapt to subsequent historiographical trends and political developments.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HM Sociology|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Labour History|
|Publisher:||Australian Society for the Study of Labour History|
|Official Date:||May 2008|
|Number of Pages:||18|
|Page Range:||pp. 25-42|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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