enduring’. Maurice regarded literature as the particular property of the middleclass and the expression of their values. For him the middleclass represents the essence of Englishness (the aristocracy are part of an international elite, and the poor need to give all their attention to ensuring mere survival) so middle-class education should be specifically English, and therefore should centre on English literature. Maurice was well aware of the political dimension of all this. People so educated would feel that they belonged to England, that they had a country
which voted for it? Experience can be found to support several interpretations but it would seem that, in the wake of a landslide victory, governments assume broad authority to interpret their ‘mandate’ as they think fit.
The diminishing influence of class on voting
As the country which first experienced the Industrial Revolution, Britain, by the early twentieth century, had a well defined and clearly stratified class system, with working-class people (for the most part, those working with their hands) living in older parts of the big cities and the middleclasses
1924 364,950 war widows were in receipt of a pension, the vast majority being between the ages of thirty and fifty and 78.5 per cent of them having children. 16 In Hamburg in 1925 widows made up 42.2 per cent of social welfare recipients. 17 Single women were dependent on their own labour, pensions, inherited wealth or families for their livelihood, with social welfare the safety net. During the Republic, before the onset of the Depression, women outnumbered men as recipients of welfare. 18 Their numbers were swollen in the early 1920s by small rentiers, middle-class
the experiences of the socially mobile, we show that the assumptions of those hiring, commissioning, and taking decisions in creative occupations are heavily shaped by a somatic norm of White, male, middle-classness. These two intersecting issues provide a powerful set of barriers in addition to previous chapters’ discussions.
Being the somatic norm for the creative industries is an important resource for the individuals who possess those characteristics. 2 Attempts to change inequalities in cultural occupations are often based on suggesting that people should
intersection between age and social class, and how class origins insulate some from the worst elements of unpaid labour.
For those from middle-class, affluent origins, unpaid work is affordable. It can be an investment that pays off artistically and in terms of access to a creative career. For those from working-class origins unpaid work will often lead nowhere. It is experienced only as exploitation and certainly not as an opportunity for creative development.
Our younger middle-class respondents spoke of the ability to take a show to Edinburgh, to take a long
Introduction: Lisa’s experience of social mobility
Well if you look at what’s happened culturally, and you look at the ’50s and the ’60s, and you look at the rise of somebody like Joe Orton from a leafier upper working class estate … Then if you go into the ’70s and the early ’80s, when culture was community-driven, you look at all the political stuff that came out, not all of them were posh kids. Quite a lot of them were working class kids … it’s because it was being run by working class people. In the ’50s and ’40s it had been run by very upper-middle-class
’ and concerned to ‘stick to their own’. Differences, and particularly perceived inequalities, can make interaction awkward or embarrassing and status categories are often loaded with prejudices which discourage contact; racism being an obvious example. In addition, actors may seek to affirm their own status, qua identity, by way of their patterns of association; proving that they are ‘middleclass’, for example, by mixing in middle-class circles and avoiding relations which might call this status into question.
Third, differences in life experience and
individual German women, as it did women in all the warring countries, in different ways, depending on their age, class, employment status, education, marital status and place of domicile, and on whether a male family member served at the front and if so, whether he was wounded, taken prisoner or killed. German women’s reaction to the outbreak of war varied, too. The leader of the moderate middle-class women’s umbrella organisation, the Federation of German Women’s Associations (Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine, BdF), Dr Gertrud Bäumer, pre-empted the outbreak of war in her
to the traditional aristocracy.
Thus, these changes led to the emergence of a small, rich ‘upper class’ of property owners and a huge, often impoverished urban working class. This inevitably had a transforming effect on British politics. The emergent middle-class industrialists were determined to resist the attempts of the aristocracy to hang on to the political control they had enjoyed for centuries. Meanwhile, the working class multiplied as the country’s population surged. Once equipped with the vote, the working class became wooed by both major parties but it
overnight, as the early suffragettes discovered. In the United States, some pro-life groups have taken to assassinating doctors who perform abortions, though without disabling the overall cause especially, it has to be said.
Some environmental groups have adopted tactics such as chaining themselves to blocks of concrete to prevent by-passes or runways being built. Interestingly, such campaigns have achieved some kind of legitimacy once middle-class campaigners have joined the struggle. However, the Darley Oaks Farm case illustrated the limits of such