Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption
Author: Meghji Ali

This book analyses how racism and anti-racism influence Black British middle-class cultural consumption. In doing so, this book challenges the dominant understanding of British middle-class identity and culture as being ‘beyond race’.

Paying attention to the relationship between cultural capital and cultural repertoires, this book puts forward the idea that there are three black middle-class identity modes: strategic assimilation, class-minded, and ethnoracial autonomous. People towards each of these identity modes use specific cultural repertoires to organise their cultural consumption. Those towards strategic assimilation draw on repertoires of code-switching and cultural equity, consuming traditional middle-class culture to maintain an equality with the White middle class in levels of cultural capital. Ethnoracial autonomous individuals draw on repertoires of browning and Afro-centrism, removing themselves from traditional middle-class cultural pursuits they decode as ‘Eurocentric’, while showing a preference for cultural forms that uplift Black diasporic histories and cultures. Lastly, those towards the class-minded identity mode draw on repertoires of post-racialism and de-racialisation. Such individuals polarise between ‘Black’ and middle-class cultural forms, display an unequivocal preference for the latter, and lambast other Black people who avoid middle-class culture as being culturally myopic or culturally uncultivated.

This book will appeal to sociology students, researchers, and academics working on race and class, critical race theory, and cultural sociology, among other social science disciplines.

Race and settler colonialism in Southern Rhodesia, 1919–79

This book explores the class experiences of white workers in Southern Rhodesia. Interest in white identity, power and privilege has grown since struggles over white land ownership in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, yet research has predominately focused on middle-class and rural whites. By critically building upon whiteness literature developed in the United States and synthesising theories of race, class and gender within a critical Marxist framework, this book considers the ways in which racial supremacy and white identity were forged and contested by lower-class whites. It demonstrates how settler anxieties over hegemonic notions of white femininity and masculinity, white poverty, Coloureds, Africans and ‘undesirable’ non-British whites were rooted in class experience and significantly contributed to dominant white worker political ideologies and self-understandings.

Based on original research conducted in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Zimbabwe, this book also explores how white workers used notions of ‘white work’ and white ‘standards of living’ to mark out racial boundaries. In doing so the author demonstrates how the worlds of work were embedded in the production of social identities and structural inequalities as well as how class interacted and intersected with other identities and oppressions. This book will be of interest to undergraduates and academics of gender, labour, race and class in African and imperial and colonial history, the history of emotions and settler colonial studies.

Abstract only
Jobs, families, mobilities and social identities
Ben Jones

Chapter 2 Class: jobs, families, mobilities and social identities This chapter explores class identifications in England since the 1940s. As such, it is primarily about the ways in which people experience class, the economic, social and cultural processes which shape individual subjectivities, and the extent to which these mould social identities. As suggested in the introduction, social identifications are understood as a relational: they are both about how one defines oneself in relation to others and about how one is categorised by other individuals, groups

in The working class in mid-twentieth-century England
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.

Social rank, imperial identity, and South Asians in Britain 1858–1914

This book focuses on the role of class in the encounter between South Asians and British institutions in the United Kingdom at the height of British imperialism. The leaders of Britain's cricketing institutions recognised the validity of ranks in an Indian social hierarchy which they attempted to translate into British equivalents. Achievement of Kumar Shri Ranjitsinjhi, one of the greatest cricketers of all time was truly an imperial one, combining the cultures and societies of India and Britain to propel him to a prominence that he would not otherwise have attained. The most important government institution to interact with Indians in Britain was the India Office. The National Indian Association was the most popular forum for interaction among Indians in Britain and Britons interested in India. The London City Mission and the Strangers' Home for Asiatics were the prominent inner-city missions to reach out to Indians in London. The book explores the extent to which British institutions treated Indians as British subjects, sharing a common legal and imperial identity with the inhabitants of the British Isles. It identifies patterns of compassion among Britain's elite when interacting with needy Indians in the United Kingdom, and establishes the central role of education in the civilising mission, particularly through scholarships to study in Britain. The book focuses on the ambiguous responses of British institutions to Indian students in the United Kingdom, ranging from accommodation of Indian culture to acquiescence in British bigotry.

Author: Philip Gillett

This book examines how the working-class people are portrayed in the British cinema. One objective of this work is to take a modest step in redressing the balance by considering the popularity of the films discussed. A second objective is to demonstrate how film might be used by disciplines whose practitioners often display scant interest in its possibilities. The third objective is to consider what films can contribute to the debate on the consequences of war. A final objective is to test received opinion. The book discusses a five-dimensional model for examining images of the working class in films. These are: place in the authority structure; cohesion/fragmentation within the working-class community; internalised values; the built environment; and personal signifiers of class, notably speech, hairstyles and clothing. It deals with the war films that were made in the context working class community, and discusses The Way to the Stars, The Hasty Heart, and Wooden Horse. With the approach of war in the late 1930s, changes in censorship allowed industrial disputes to be portrayed on British screens for the first time. The working class community was portrayed in It Always Rains on Sunday to better effect as compared to Passport to Pímlíco. Three groups of criminals make regular appearances in postwar British films: spivs, who are black market traders; those have served in the forces; and career criminals. The book also deals with several British films in the postwar years focusing on dance hall, namely, Floodtide, Waterloo Road, and Dance Hall.

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.

Author: Tom Woodin

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.

A round of cheap diversions?
Author: Robert James

This book examines the relationship between class and culture in 1930s Britain. Focusing on the reading and cinema-going tastes of the working classes, it combines historical analysis with a close textual reading of visual and written sources to appraise the role of popular leisure in this decade. Drawing on original research, the book adds to our knowledge of working-class leisure pursuits in this contentious period.

Author: Brad Beaven

This book analyses the development of male leisure against the changing notions of citizenship which underpinned perceptions of British society during the period 1850-1945. It opens with an examination of the 'leisure' problem of the middle decades of the nineteenth century. After the defeat of Chartism and associated challenges to the employers' right to organise the workplace, factory owners, the clergy and philanthropists established schemes of rational recreation designed to attract and educate working-class males. The book explores how schemes of rational recreation attempted to create the model citizen and the impact of these strategies on male working-class leisure. Taking three influential leisure activities - drink, the music hall and association football - the book explores their impact on both concepts of citizenship and male leisure patterns. In addition, commercial leisure also highlighted the marked gender divides in leisure activities found within working-class households. The book investigates the generational issues that shaped male working-class leisure. The increase in non-apprenticed semi-skilled work, particularly in the 'new' industry regions, raised fears that monotonous working practices and new leisure activities were a dangerous social cocktail. Moreover the book investigates how, during the late Victorian and early Edwardian era, the problem of a 'degenerate' youth became entwined with anxieties over the future of empire. It further contextualises male leisure against the dominant concerns between 1918 and 1945. This era saw the suburbanisation of British cities, continued anxieties over male citizenry and increased international tensions that led to war.