In 2011, I was help­ing one of my soci­ol­ogy stu­dents get started on an essay.  She wanted to write, she said, “some­thing on coalmin­ing com­mu­ni­ties”. I sug­gested she nar­row the topic, since coal min­ing was, until rel­a­tively recently, a wide­spread indus­try in the UK. She responded by sug­gest­ing that she could look at “some­where up…