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Comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema
Author: Nigel Mather

This book explores the interactions of comedy and drama within a group of significant and influential films released during the decade of the 1990s. It examines a group of British films from this period which engage with economic and social issues in unusual and compelling ways. Brassed Off and The Full Monty are two films invoking very different cultural traditions as possible activities for unemployed males and troubled communities in modern British society. The book then discusses a number of contemporary British films focusing upon the experiences of British-Asian and African-Caribbean characters and their efforts to feel 'at home' in Western and British society. It features an extensive analysis of East is East, a comedy-drama about the cultural and ideological tensions surfacing between members of a British-Asian family living in Salford, circa 1971. Next, the book includes case studies of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually. It investigates the ways in which humour is deployed for dramatic and emotional effect in the context of scenarios dealing with such seemingly non-comic subjects as mass unemployment, failed or uneasy relationships, bitter family disputes, or instances of racial tension and conflict in British society. The book demonstrates that the interaction of comic and dramatic modes of narration within the films discussed proved to be a dynamic creative mechanism in 1990s British cinema, facilitating and enabling the construction of innovative and genuinely exploratory narratives about characters who are striving to realise particular aspirations and hopes within a complex culture.

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‘Tears of laughter': comedy-drama in 1990s British cinema
Nigel Mather

. The chapter concludes with case studies of Brassed Off (Mark Herman, 1996) and The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997), two films invoking very different cultural traditions as possible activities for unemployed males and troubled communities in modern British society. Chapter 2 discusses a number of contemporary British films focusing upon the experiences of British-Asian and African

in Tears of laughter
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Historicising a ‘revolution’
Julian M. Simpson

development of healthcare as they are in a position to shape its nature—​in ways that are, so far, little understood. Looking at migration history from a different angle and exploring questions such as these is important not just because it adds to our historical understanding but also because it can help us to think differently about the place of migrants in modern British society and elsewhere. This at a time when political debates around this question abound, without critical histories of population movement having any discernible role to play in them. The role of the

in Migrant architects of the NHS
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

core institution of modern British society on the principle of the gift relation. Modern society cannot be reduced to Adam Smith’s and Milton Friedman’s network market relations mediated by Hermes, because the great accumulation of wisdom in humanity’s mythic and moral patrimony knows that Hermes is a Trickster, one of whose core characteristics is his tendency to run amok. The deep meaning of ‘Economics’ has always been from the management of the household, the Oikos, and the free market must ultimately be accountable to Hestia’s domestic science, the arts and

in The domestic, moral and political economies of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Open Access (free)
Patrick Doyle

argued that the Manchester-based Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS) made important interventions in British political culture. 26 Peter Gurney's seminal study argued that British co-operation constituted ‘a particular mode of consumption [that] generated fierce and protracted social conflicts’. Co-operation represented an alternative paradigm for consumption to that offered by capitalist entrepreneurs. By generating debate and conflict around the sphere of consumption, the co-operative movement shaped modern British society. 27 Manu Goswami argues how, in colonial

in Civilising rural Ireland
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1870 – the civilising moment?
Rosalind Crone

a more global culture, or at least into the culture of the Western English-speaking world. This brings us full circle, back to the point at which we started in this epilogue – the continued prominence of graphic violence in pastimes that we enjoy in the early twenty-first century. The violent films and computer games we encountered at the opening of the epilogue await their historian to uncover the links between them and chart the meaning of their time-bound narratives to post-modern British society. But surely the eagerness which we display in securing tickets to

in Violent Victorians
Is structuration a solution?
Wes Sharrock

continuing ones, which are shared with many others, and can be picked up by those who do not yet have them (they are public properties). If I pass on my understandings to others (through speaking with them on the basis of those understandings) then the language will continue to be spoken even after I cease to speak it, though, of course, the understandings I employ may cease to be shared by other speakers. My ‘part’ in the English language is surely nothing like my part in modern British society. To give the simplest example, the connection between my action of posting a

in Human agents and social structures
Opposition and protest
John Field

_Field_WorkingMen_Printer.indd 241 22/07/2013 15:56 242 Working men’s bodies 2005, 46–7. 47 Neil Evans, ‘South Wales has been Roused as Never Before’: Marching against the Means Test, 1934–1936, in D. W. Howell and K. O. Morgan (eds), Crime, Protest and Police in Modern British Society, University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1999, 183. 48 Croucher, We Refuse, 148. 49 DW, 21 July 1933. 50 National Unemployed Workers Movement, The Fight Against Unemployment and Poverty: Our plan for action, NUWM, London, 1934, 5–6; see also W. Hannington, Work for Wages not Slave Camps, NUWM, London, 1934. 51

in Working men’s bodies
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John Williamson and Martin Cloonan

such a designation was somewhat limiting and did not cover the full extent of the history that we were writing. We did, however, use the work of prominent social historians as a starting point, inspired by the importance they attached to trade unions, class, and the study of industry (for example Cole and Postgate 1948; Hobsbawm 1968; Thompson 1963; Webb and Webb 1920). Of equal interest was that their histories of modern British society were constructed ‘from the bottom’, with the emphasis on those workers whose stories had been marginalised in previous historical

in Players’ work time
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Social liberalism and traditionalism
Richard Hayton

who are white, Anglo-Saxon and bigoted, and they need to be represented. (Eric Forth MP, 24 October 2000, quoted in Walters, 2001: 86) During his leadership campaign and in the early part of his tenure William Hague was keen to present himself as embodying a fresh face for conservatism. As such, he recognised the need to present himself and his party as at ease with modern British society, including its non-traditional and multicultural aspects. Another element of this strategy was a more liberal approach and softer tone on sexual and moral issues such as gay

in Reconstructing conservatism?