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Brian Elliott

institutions of learning and the rest being educated in their shadow. Again, this is crucially important in the context of a putatively democratic culture, as it ingrains a sense of inferiority, incapacity and resentment among the majority. Above all, the modern educational history of Britain has been anything but an exercise in democratic egalitarianism. Our concern in this chapter is to clarify the relationship between democracy and working-class culture. One extreme, but by no means extinct, position on this is to question the very existence of working-class culture

in The roots of populism
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
Abstract only

James Kelman is Scotland's most influential contemporary prose artist. This is a book-length study of his groundbreaking novels, analysing and contextualising each in detail. It argues that while Kelman offers a coherent and consistent vision of the world, each novel should be read as a distinct literary response to particular aspects of contemporary working-class language and culture. Historicised through diverse contexts such as Scottish socialism, public transport, emigration, ‘Booker Prize’ culture and Glasgow's controversial ‘City of Culture’ status in 1990, the book offers readings of Kelman's style, characterisation and linguistic innovations. This study resists the prevalent condemnations of Kelman as a miserable realist, and produces evidence that he is acutely aware of an unorthodox, politicised literary tradition which transgresses definitions of what literature can or should do. Kelman is cautious about the power relationship between the working-class worlds he represents in his fiction, and the latent preconceptions embedded in the language of academic and critical commentary. In response, the study is self-critical, questioning the validity and values of its own methods. Kelman is shown to be deftly humorous, assiduously ethical, philosophically alert and politically necessary.

The pleasure-seeking citizen
Brad Beaven

on traits within working-class culture and recast them into appealing commercial ventures. The male worker, who was the chief beneficiary of an increase in surplus income, was in the front line of this new commercial entertainment. By 1900 both the skilled and, in some places, semi-skilled working man, saw the regular expenditure from the household budget on at least one aspect of commercial leisure as a ‘right’ rather than a luxury. 1 Many, however, remained uncertain of how civic responsibility could be encouraged in the city. The heady mix of drink and the

in Leisure, citizenship and working-class men in Britain, 1850–1945
Tom Woodin

media that stretched back to the late 1950s and 1960s. Writers such as Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams opened up the study of ‘culture’ as lived experience, while E. P. Thompson’s seminal The Making of the English Working Class ‘rescued’ a rich working-class culture in the early nineteenth century.1 The idea of the ‘cultural revolution’, or even a ‘long revolution’, appealed to those who felt that society needed to be reborn through the creativity of the working class, a term which, even then, meant many different things to different people, encompassing the

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
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David Forrest
Sue Vice

of Wilson’s evidence for this loss is the disappearance of A Kestrel for a Knave as a set text from the school syllabus, although it remains an option frequently chosen by teachers for pupils of Billy’s age. The retrospective currency of 218 Barry Hines Hines’s work in the wake of his death likewise seems to emerge from a collective sense in which it has brought into focus the absence of a place-­specific, working-­class culture of writing in contemporary Britain. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Hines’s focus on class issues was unerring and fundamental, and

in Barry Hines
Selina Todd

geographic community, I suggest that capitalist societies are unable to foster ‘classless’ cultural products. Culture is produced by – in the words of the historian E.P. Thompson – ‘a particular equilibrium of social relations, a working environment of exploitation and resistance to exploitation, of relations of power’.4 Wolff and Savage, Culture in Manchester.indd 194 14/08/2013 11:37:37 t h e m y t h o f c u lt u r a l ‘ i n c l u s i o n ’ 195 While many studies of working-class culture, and of cultural ‘inclusion’, have focused on participation, I argue that we

in Culture in Manchester
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Stephen Catterall
Keith Gildart

northern soul nights in venues ranging from the plush nightclubs of the Mecca chain through to the historic halls of miners’ institutes and working-men’s clubs it formed part of a wider working-class culture that had across the twentieth century danced to the sounds of black America. This was an exciting scene to be part of, whether waiting in anticipation for the doors of Wigan Casino to open, ascending the escalator to the Highland Room at Blackpool Mecca, or watching Cleethorpes Pier seemingly about to take off into the night sky over the North Sea, such was the

in Keeping the faith
Stephen Catterall
Keith Gildart

with many northern soul venues, the Torch had been a centre for working-class culture and leisure activities. Burton described it as ‘the town’s bug hutch, the local dive where all the cheap films were shown’.48 The Torch became one of Stoke’s premier mod hangouts, forming a bridge to the later northern scene of which it became an iconic touchstone. Live performers at the venue would play a set and then travel up to Manchester for a later show at the Twisted Wheel.49 The 1960s history of the Torch gave the club a firmly grounded authenticity that played well with the

in Keeping the faith
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Losey in Europe
Colin Gardner

Losey’s own exile, in particular his lack of active political affiliation with the British left, as well as his estrangement from working-class culture as a whole. We see this most clearly in his willy-nilly, almost desperate-to-please choice of potential filmic subjects, as well as in his preference for stylistically conservative, overtly literary collaborators. Losey always preferred the middlebrow, vaguely Fabian vernacular

in Joseph Losey