As I have already commented, the 1980s has been a decade of rapid change in the structure of the national economy, with manufacturing industry suffering a marked decline and with sporadic growth in the service sector. At the same time, there have been marked changes in women’s and men’s economic roles as women have increasingly moved into the public sphere of employment, although generally on worse terms than their male counterparts. The structure of the labour market in Westshire in the mid-1980s was clearly influenced by this national pattern, although the area had not been subjected to the rapid process of deindustrialisation common in the north. This chapter provides an overview of the local economy and its impact on social relations, in turn strongly influencing the nature of schooling. I argue that these shifting economic and social relations are important factors in understanding the complex mixture of conservatism and desire for change which characterise Westshire girls’ attitudes to education and work and their sense of identity more generally.