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A critical reader in history and theory, second edition
Authors: Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

Every piece of historical writing has a theoretical basis on which evidence is selected, filtered, and understood. This book explores the theoretical perspectives and debates that are generally acknowledged to have been the most influential within the university-led practice of history over the past century and a half. It advises readers to bear in mind the following four interlinked themes: context, temporal framework, causation or drivers of change, and subjectivities. The book outlines the principles of empiricism, the founding epistemology of the professional discipline, and explores the ways in which historians have challenged and modified this theory of knowledge over the past century and a half. It then focuses upon three important dimensions of historical materialism in the work of Marxist historians: the dialectical model at the basis of Marx's grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and the enduring question of class consciousness. The use of psychoanalysis in history, the works of Annales historians and historical sociology is discussed next. The book also examines the influence of two specific approaches that were to be fertile ground for historians: everyday life and symbolic anthropology, and ethnohistory. The roles of narrative, gender history, radical feminism, poststructuralism and postcolonial history are also discussed. Finally, the book outlines the understandings about the nature of memory and remembering, and looks at key developments in the analysis and interpretation of oral histories and oral traditions.

Community, identity and social memory
Author: Ben Jones

The idea of Brighton as a hot-bed of radical class-consciousness in inter-war Britain is an unconventional one. That the dominant images of working class England in the middle years of the twentieth century are 'northern' or metropolitan is thanks to a flowering of community and cultural studies for which the research of Mass Observation provided important antecedents. This book argues that a consideration of Richard Hoggart's critics allows us to open up an important set of questions for discussion. It commences with an exploration of class identifications in England since the 1940s. The experience of and meanings attached to class change for individuals across their lives in relation to historically shifting formations of class within cultures. The book then focuses on the twin modernising forces which reshaped working class neighbourhoods in the period between the 1920s and the mid-1970s: slum clearance and council housing. It explores the ways in which people's senses of belonging to and identification with particular neighbourhoods were formed. Conflicts over the transgression of neighbourhood norms regarding acceptable behaviour, arguments over children's noise, over help which went unreciprocated, debts which went unpaid and domestic or intra-family violence were also a feature of neighbourhood life. Through the contested, multivalent remembered experiences of past communities, the complex, relational construction of social memories can be seen. The book also explores the dynamics of working class household economies and examines the continuities which existed between the modern council estates and older districts in terms of cultures of economic and emotional resourcefulness.

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Anna Green and Kathleen Troup

dialectical model at the basis of Marx’s grand narrative of human history; the adaptations of Marxist theory in Latin America; and finally the enduring question of class consciousness. Marx was born in 1818 in Germany and spent his early adult life in Prussia and France. Paris in the 1840s was a ferment of revolutionary socialist ideas, culminating in the 1848 revolution. Many of Marx’s ideas about history emerged during this period, worked out in conjunction with his life-long collaborator, Friedrich Engels. Raphael Samuel rightly pointed out that Marx’s published

in The houses of history
Tijana Vujošević

, they are anonymous, and turn into “proletarian units, such as A, B, C, or 325, 075, etc.” Instead of personality there are “powerful psychological streams, which flow from one part of the world to another, for which there are not millions of minds, but only one mind, that of the world.” Instead of individual thought there is an “objective psychology,” a kind of thought that resembles “psychological switching on, switching off, short circuits.” Class consciousness is no longer the relationship of man to man but “the relationship of discrete groups of people toward

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man
Marxism and post-modernity
Paul Blackledge

conflates two superficially related but in fact very different issues. What are Marxists to do when the real movement of workers is on the ebb? And what happens if the proletariat ceases to be a revolutionary class? The first poses few theoretical problems for Marxists, for no Marxist has ever denied that the real class struggle and the degree of class consciousness among workers will ebb and flow through history.7 The second question, however, poses a much more serious problem, for if the proletariat ceases to be a revolutionary class, then, by its own logic, Marxism

in Reflections on the Marxist theory of history
Tom Woodin

classes.76 In 1980 Yarnit commented that in Liverpool, ‘a generation of militants … for whom education is a priority’ had emerged from ‘a decade of committed adult education’.77 Scotland Road and other groups had nurtured ‘organic intellectuals’ in the Gramscian sense, a concept that was to gain some purchase in the Fed. With a long history of black immigration, Liverpool possessed more than one strand of radical class consciousness, not least in terms of race issues. For instance, Evans facilitated a writing group in Toxteth, which described itself as ‘mainly but not

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
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Phillipp R. Schofield

, class-consciousness and the transition debate An original intention of historical discussion of rent was to chart the development of serfdom, with a view to exploring the origins of servility in medieval England. While the material focus of this discussion, conducted by historians in the later nineteenth century and discussed in an earlier chapter, was similar to that employed by historians working in later generations, namely, evidence for rent and other kinds of obligation in manorial, estate and legal records, the central purpose of the

in Peasants and historians
class and the politics of impulse in Time Without Pity (1957), The Gypsy and the Gentleman (1957), Blind Date (1959) and The Criminal (1960)
Colin Gardner

complacently reduce either exile or class difference to The Intimate Stranger ’s simple dialectic between art and commerce. However, it is also clear from our discussion so far that Losey was unclear or ambivalent about how to represent an active class consciousness. Rather than celebrate the positive aspects of working-class life, the way Ken Loach, for example, only makes films about and within exclusively proletarian contexts, he

in Joseph Losey
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Friendship and Literary Patronage
Wayne Erickson

sufficiently the enigmatical qualities of tone adopted by Spenser and Ralegh in their written interactions with each other, especially in the material appended to the 1590 Faerie Queene. Some critics, however, find the tone and meaning of these dedicatory and commendatory texts relatively straightforward. Much of that critical commentary concerns supposed differences of opinion between Spenser and Ralegh about the kind and value of the poetry they write, though issues of competition and class-consciousness creep into these discussions of poetic value. According to Patrick

in Literary and visual Ralegh
Paul Greenhalgh

, Wakefield, Stockport, Stroud, Leicester, Liverpool, Bradford, Ripon and Oldham were among the many towns and cities which staged events, often erecting extra facilities to house them. 13 The flavour of all Mechanics Institutes exhibitions was philanthropic rather than economic, the aim being principally to stimulate working class consciousness and to generally advance industrial culture. The obvious links

in Ephemeral vistas