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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
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Jonathon Shears

5 •• Class Increased concern for the welfare of the working classes is one dominant motif of political debate in the mid-nineteenth century with which the organisers of the Great Exhibition could not avoid engaging. In The Condition of the Working Class in England in 1844 (1845), Friedrich Engels wrote about the impoverished and demoralised state of provincial workers that he had witnessed first hand, famously proclaiming, ‘Thus are the workers cast out and ignored by the class in power, morally as well as physically and mentally’ (p. 144). In 1842, Edwin

in The Great Exhibition, 1851
Tijana Vujošević

2 Class unconsciousness Meyerhold’s chronotope A scribble of ribbon winds over a grid (Figure 2.1). The axes are numbered, clearly intended to identify the spaces of the grid and thus to locate the ribbon precisely. The handwritten notes along the sides of the grid explain that the drawing is a “spatial-chronometric” notation of the scene – a plan of movement across the stage, with approximate timing. The drawing graphs the movement of two entities, marked “S” and “B,” along with the time when they cross particular points. Although the author of this graph is

in Modernism and the making of the Soviet New Man
Identities, repertoires, cultural consumption
Author:

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.

From the Peasants' Revolt to the French Revolution
Author:

This book explores the intimate relationship between literature and class in England (and later Britain) from the Peasants’ Revolt at the end of the fourteenth century to the impact of the French Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century and beginning of the nineteenth. It demonstrates how literary texts are determined by class relations and how they represent the interaction of classes in profound and apparently trivial ways. The book argues throughout that class cannot be seen as a modern phenomenon that occurred after the Industrial Revolution but that class divisions and relations have always structured societies and that it makes sense to assume a historical continuity. The book explores a number of themes relating to class: class consciousness; class conflict; commercialization; servitude; the relationship between agrarian and urban society; rebellion; gender relations; and colonization. After outlining the history of class relations in England and, after the union of 1707, Scotland, five chapters explore the ways in which social class consciously and unconsciously influenced a series of writers including Geoffrey Chaucer, William Langland, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, John Taylor, Robert Herrick, Aphra Behn, John Wilmot, earl of Rochester, Daniel Defoe, Stephen Duck, Mary Collier, Frances Burney, Robert Burns, William Blake and William Wordsworth. The book concludes with Percy Bysshe Shelley’s An Address to the Irish People (1812), pointing to the need to explore class relations in the context of the British Isles and Ireland, as well as the British Empire, which a future work will analyse.

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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
League activism and class politics
Helen McCarthy

6 Classes and cultures? League activism and class politics No movement on behalf of the League of Nations can be either adequate or effective which is anything short of National – ie, a movement covering the whole of the British Isles and embracing every class of citizenhood . . . We shall speak with power and effect only when we can speak on behalf of the Nation as a whole. (Lord Robert Cecil, 1920)1 In 1921, the LNU issued a short story telling the tale of how a little girl named Peggy became converted to the League of Nations.2 The daughter of a vicar

in The British people and the League of Nations
Ginger S. Frost

7 Cross-class cohabitation I n Mary Barton, Elizabeth Gaskell offers a depiction of Victorian cross-class liaisons through the character of Mary’s Aunt Esther, who ran away with an army officer and lived with him for three years. They had a little girl, but he left her when his regiment was called away. In rapid succession, her business failed, her daughter died, and she became an alcoholic prostitute.1 Gaskell assumed that cross-class matings were between wealthy men and poorer women, that they were temporary, and that the lower-class woman paid the price for

in Living in sin
Jonathan Pattenden

2 A class-relational approach Society does not consist of individuals, but expresses the sum of interrelations. (Marx 1973:265) While capitalism presupposes a structural opposition between capital and labour that is rooted in ownership of productive assets and acted out through the performance of surplus labour and its attendant forms of domination, actually existing class relationships are ‘almost infinitely more complicated’ (Harriss 2006:446). When viewed in concrete historical terms, class is a plural category in terms of its subdivisions (shaped by the

in Labour, state and society in rural India