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The research project explores the historic and current ruptures that foster social inequality in the cruise business. lt discerns patterns of inequality prevalent in the German and British passenger shipping and cruise industries from the 19th century to the present. From a cultural sciences and history perspective, it examines how these industries, of two former leading global economies, were afflicted by social differentiations, hierarchies and exclusions. The study analyses shipping communities, the conditions of workers and passengers and how their experiences and practices explain societal and political norms.
The research links global transformations to the production of inequities on the ships themselves. lt discloses social positions and allocations onboard specific vessels and their intersection with the individuals' social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the assessment of the power relations between and within groups of workers and passengers. The analyses incorporate archival sources and museum collections from Bremerhaven, Bremen, Hamburg, Cambridge, London and Liverpool.