When does having a sense of group consciousness stand in the way of personal responsibility and self-actualization?
“Harriet called the mill her “Alma Mater,” and felt that its “incentive to labor” and the discipline of the work were of great value. “We were taught daily habits of regularity and of industry; it was, in fact, a sort of manual training or industrial school.”
Girls in this position did not see themselves as members of the working class–the term and concept working class was an invention of industrialism that was still in formation in the 1830’s. Group consciousness was absent from these girls, who viewed their stay in the mills as temporary, a stepping stone to a better life or else a deliberate sacrifice for others. Rather than improve the lot of all workers, they hoped to rise above it, individually.” from A Good Poor Man’s Wife by Claudia L. Bushman
Identifying with a group in our day seems to bring strife and irrational blaming of other groups. Wonder what the mill girls would say.
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