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Tom Woodin

Class and identity 157 9  Class and identity The issue of class and identity gave rise to perennial and at times acrimonious disputes. At an AGM of the Fed in 1991, I found myself in the midst of tempestuous emotions. In the bar on the Friday evening, a man was shouted down at his reading for attempting to parody a racist by using the term ‘darkie’. An Asian man read a poem about the need for a laundry to get the workers to do their job properly. A disabled working-class man found that offensive – he later told me he did not bother with formal procedures but

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
Peter J. Martin

Chap 5 10/7/06 11:51 am Page 77 5 Class, culture and concerts Introduction For Pierre Bourdieu, musical taste was a highly significant indicator of a person’s position in the socio-economic order. Near the beginning of Distinction, he reports the outcome of a large-scale French survey which led to the identification of three ‘zones’ of musical taste, which ‘roughly correspond to educational levels and social classes’. ‘Legitimate’ taste (for example the works of ‘serious’ composers) was found to increase markedly with level of education and thus ‘was

in Music and the sociological gaze
Reordering privilege and prejudice
Hilary Pilkington

6 ‘Second-class citizens’: reordering privilege and prejudice Castells (2012: 14) argues that anxiety is a response to an external threat over which the threatened person has no control. Anxiety leads to fear, and has a paralysing effect on action. However, anxiety can be overcome and lead to action if it develops into anger, usually through the perception of an unjust action and the identification of the agent responsible for it. In the previous chapter, the anxieties held by EDL supporters about Islam, and about Muslims, were detailed. It was shown how these

in Loud and proud
Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.


This is a unique study of working-class writing and community publishing. It evaluates the largely unexamined history of the emergence and development of working-class writing and publishing workshops since the 1970s. The nature of working-class writing is assessed in relation to the work of young people, older people, adult literacy students as well as writing workshops. Key themes and tensions in working-class writing are explored in relation to historical and literary frameworks. This is the first in-depth study of this body of writing. In addition, a number of crucial debates are examined, for example, over class and identity, critical pedagogy and learning, relationships with audiences and the role of mainstream cultural institutions in comparison with alternatives. The contradictions and tensions in all these areas are surveyed in coming to a historical understanding of this topic.

Tom Woodin

94 Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century 5 The workshop and working-class writing The workshop served as a testing ground where prolonged commitment to writing was facilitated. Initial attempts to get something on the page produced eclectic results and could not be categorised easily. Those unaccustomed to writing sometimes felt that existing literature did not provide them with adequate models. Such a body of writing could appear daunting. Working-class writers struggled to connect their experiences and emotions to what was on

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
A comparison
Dick Geary

8 Working-class culture in Britain and Germany, 1870–1914: a comparison Dick Geary Britain After 1860 there began to develop in Britain a working-class culture, which, according to Gareth Stedman Jones, was unlike the earlier workbased and radical artisan culture of the Chartist period. This later culture Richard Hoggart famously described in the 1950s as ‘traditional workingclass culture’.1 In Stedman Jones’s account, this culture was indeed specific to the working class but did not threaten the existing social and political order. Rather, it was a

in Labour and working-class lives
Selina Todd

Class conflict and the myth of cultural ‘inclusion’ in modern Manchester Selina Todd In August 2009, a theatre group from north Manchester enjoyed an incredible box-office success. MaD theatre company’s production, Angels with Manky Faces, was a dramatic exploration of nineteenth-century gang violence, adapted from historian Andrew Davies’s book The Gangs of Manchester.1 MaD’s cast of twenty-one staged seven sell-out performances at the Library Theatre in Manchester city centre, and three at the Dancehouse on the city’s Oxford Road. After completing the run of

in Culture in Manchester
Martin Joormann

2 Martin Joormann Social class, economic capital and the Swedish, German and Danish asylum systems This chapter starts by problematizing the politico-legal distinction between ‘economic migrant’ and ‘refugee’ in the Swedish and wider European contexts. It goes on to discuss the procedural similarities and differences of the Swedish, German and Danish asylum systems, their different appeal instances and their implications regarding the question of who can be granted (refugee) protection status. Drawing on insights from my PhD thesis (Joormann, 2019) and

in Refugees and the violence of welfare bureaucracies in Northern Europe
Houses, kinship and capital since 1945

Why have England’s historic upper class come to the fore of public life? Britain’s protracted imperial decline in the twentieth century saw with it a decline and decomposition of its class structure defined by inheritance, status, exclusivity and traditionalism. Since 2016 this decline has been in the process of reversing as English society witnesses a resurgence of its upper class – a culturally and socially cohesive group of persons whose status, position and traditionalist worldviews have come to shape UK politics and English culture, and the sense of our collective future. The fall and rise of the English upper class examines how these traditionalist worldviews, while diverse in their application, are unified by a common thread. English society is imagined through idioms of kinship and inheritance, which take the form of a ‘house’. From our so-called ‘Establishment’ institutions to the ancestral homes of the landed gentry and aristocracy, through to the more unlikely areas of our society, such as the nostalgia for heritage clothing and the vogue for literature on Old Englishness, the kinship idiom underlying these institutions and cultural ideals is: who inherits the house, inherits England. By exploring the history of England’s passage to capitalism and its curious class structure, which combines status exclusivity with economic fortune, the book examines the writings of diverse upper-class gentlemen – from Rory Stewart to Adam Nicolson, Roger Scruton to Peter York – to illustrate how anxieties about the future of society always find their answer in the traditions of the past.