Introduction

It is undoubted that the changing role of work is one of the most important topics in modern societies. Studies which analyze the social history of modern Hungarian work and working class in a long-term period both on micro and macro level through the political, economical and social changes of the 19th and 20th century, have been missing so far. Basically we would like to study this topic in our project. Firstly, we are going to examine the social history of the workers of the biggest Hungarian heavy industrial plant, Ózdi Kohászati Művek (Metallurgy Plant of Ózd) from the dynamic beginning in the turn of the 19th and 20th century until the end of the 20th century when the plant was shut down. Besides this we are going to study how the miners’ community of a township called Rudabánya changed during this period. On the other hand, as a bases of our project we would like to build a network for researchers who study the social history of industrial workers.

We would like to compare – firstly just as an attempt - the experiences and results of our Hungarian case studies with the similar history, mainly Central-European industrial/urban/local worker groups on the score of relevant literature. Therefore our task is two-sided: to write a summarizing monography about the social history of modern Hungarian work and working class based on archival, statistical and register sources, and to write a Central-European comparative study regarding the relevant international literature. That means we have to accomplish basic researches in the field of social history.