Class and Contemporary British Culture

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The seminal work of Texan sociologist C.

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This book examines a range of issues relating to British culture and class with chapters focusing on social mobility, the underclass, education, celebrity culture, the upper classes, immigration and austerity. The chapter on the upper classes offers an interesting critique of media values however it does feel slightly superficial and could have been improved by examining the upper class through the conceptual lens of elite studies.

He is also a tutor and occasional lecturer in the same department. His PhD research focuses on reporting poverty and inequality in the UK press with a particular emphasis on the relationship between journalists and their sources. Read more reviews by Steven. April… […]. Click here to cancel reply. Explore the latest social science book reviews by academics and experts. About This Item We aim to show you accurate product information. Manufacturers, suppliers and others provide what you see here, and we have not verified it. See our disclaimer.

"The aboriginal people of England" in: Focaal Volume Issue 62 ()

Class and Contemporary British Culture How does culture produce stories about class and class difference? What do these stories tell us about contemporary models of success, failure, struggle and aspiration? Drawing on contemporary examples, Biressi and Nunn demonstrate why social class still matters in Britain and considers the costs and investments at stake for all involved.

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Trigg, Stephanie , Congenial Souls. Victorians had to cope with a world of new things, such as the electric telegraph, the omnibus or photography, innovations which not only exercised much fascination but also elicited a great deal of scepticism and criticism. In response to these challenges, people and things were categorised and conceptually re-organised. Property and class became influential factors in this systematisation of a world which appeared to be in constant and disturbing flux. The interpretation of material culture promises to offer deeper insights into Victorian times.

Thus, critics working in the field of Victorian culture try to analyse the representations of subjects and objects, signs and things and the textualisation of material circumstances. Victorian material culture is the focus of this issue of JSBC, which offers a variety of readings of Victorian 'things' such as soap, dolls, or crockery, involving several disciplines such as history, linguistics and literature in the interpretation of different 'texts' and signs.

The contributions include articles on gendered, classified, colonised, singular and mass-produced objects and their representations. A Conference Report' Calling Britain a multicultural society has become so commonplace as to attract suspicion about the hidden agenda behind that phrase. Indeed it has long turned into a facile stereotype that can be functionalised as a cover for ubiquitous social inequalities as well as a persistent racism. Salman Rushdie has simply called it a sham, a 'token gesture towards Britain's Blacks'.

There is only a thin line between obsessive attempts to unearth Britishness or Englishness in public discourse and an equally holistic concern with a German Leitkultur. All the same, there have been some beneficial effects for Britain's political culture in the conscious inclusion of minorities in the decision-making process. Nobody in the public mainstream would object to Lord Irvine's incantation of a multicultural, multi-ethnic United Kingdom as a cornerstone of New Labour's policies, and it is now a truth almost universally acknowledged that British culture consists of a plurality of communities whose differences will have to be respected in the everyday procedures of civil society.

The present issue is concerned with the largest grouping within what has effectively become, in Rushdie's phrase, a 'New Empire in Britain': British Asian cultures. The six essays collected here examine a wide range of interaction between British Asians and British majority culture, charting a cross-cultural history that leads from almost complete isolation to various kinds of fusion. Work - Leisure - Identity guest editor: Peter Drexler.

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Traditional certainties and concepts of work, workplace, full and lifelong employment, as well as notions of leisure, have been significantly eroded, even wholly redefined in recent years, and these shifts have in turn had a decisive impact on modern forms of cultural identity.

Such transformations have been occasioned by dramatic economic, technological and political changes, in particular by the transition from industrial to information-based societies. Global capitalism has not only had disastrous effects on many national economies but also worked fundamental changes in the labour-markets of the world, affecting the lives of millions of people. Britain with its long history of industrialisation - and its more recent experience of de-industrialisation - presents a particularly challenging field of study.

We believe that the topic of work - and 'non-work', in the form of unemployment or leisure - should not be left exclusively to sociologists and economists. Cultural studies also should apply its methods of analysis to these social and economic changes, by considering, for instance, the new living conditions of the people affected by these changes, and by discussing the new concepts of work resulting from them, or the models of creating work that is socially useful and might give self-respect to those concerned.

It can further, we believe, help illuminate the specific role that work, unemployment and leisure play in the formation of cultural identity. In particular, it can examine the symbolic forms of representation - in literature, arts, the media - which contribute to this process. Childs, Peter, and Mike Storry, eds. Over the last decades a host of civic and ethnic nationalisms have re-emerged as serious political challenges to existing, sometimes even long-established state structures in western and eastern Europe. This may have baffled those who think that the process of globalisation has already inaugurated the era of post-nationalism.

The explanation some sociologists of nationalism have offered runs counter to this notion: modern nationalism helps protect those socio-political identities that have come under threat from the relentless impact of structural changes in global capitalism. In this issue of JSBC, we want offer the example of Scotland as a particularly interesting case study in this context. Scotland, often characterised as a 'stateless nation' after voluntarily giving up sovereignty and independence in , has never abandoned its sense of national Scottish identity, and it has even managed to preserve and consolidate its civil society, i.

And although Scotland's cultural self-image, since the Acts of Union, has always been susceptible to the pressures of Anglicisation from beyond its southern border, 'Scottishness' has ultimately been able to stand its ground.

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Just how successful Scotland has been in preserving its sense of national identity through the ages became evident in the devolution referendum, when the Scottish electorate solidly and unequivocally supported the establishment of a Scottish parliament. We are convinced that an exploration of the implications of devolution and the hopes and anxieties that it has raised and continues to raise both among the political elites and the people of Britain may fruitfully focus on the example of Scotland. The essays and analyses assembled in this issue perceive devolution as a process which has now reached a new and possibly decisive stage.

Refraining, however, from any immature and inappropriate prognosis, the arguments put forth in this issue focus both on past and present manifestations of Scottish national identity and on the relevant agents and constellations in a process that will ultimately entail a comprehensive remaking of the Scottish state, its civil society and its relationship with the United Kingdom and Europe.

Attwooll, Elspeth , The Tapestry of the Law. Travail, culture, politique H.

Book Review: Class and Contemporary British Culture by Anita Biressi and Heather Nunn

Gustav , Factory Girl. The pleasure and the pain of Cultural Studies today in its more recent manifestation derives from attempts to analyze the fuzziness of its boundaries: not quite sociology, nor social history, nor literary studies, nor political science, nor anthropology, nor even ethnography.

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Drawing on all these disciplines, Cultural Studies at the onset of the 21 st century presents itself as an extremely heterogeneous field. Whereas in the early years of the development of the discipline, the predominantly Marxist approach of theorists such as Richrad Hoggart, E.

Thompson and Raymond Williams meant that there was a clear political dimension, today the plurality of approaches has meant a relaxing of more rigidly defined boundaries and methodologies. The topic of this issue, Everyday Life , offers an example of that shift towards greater plurality. Everyday life - perhaps the most evanescent of terms, avoiding definition in a continuously sliding process of re-evaluation - is notoriously difficult to theorize.

Seeking a means of analyzing it provides a perfect example of the pain of trying to determine exactly what our object of study might be, combined with the pleasure of playing with the plasticity of something that resists all attempts to concretize. What all the essays in this issue indicate is the richness that is available in the study of aspects of everyday life, and the extent to which such studies can shed light on social and cultural practices, both past and present, experienced and fictitious, thereby showing how great a pleasure it can ultimately be to play with a plastic, hybrid mass that resists categorization and definition.

It was always the intention that JSBC should have a wider European perspective in mind in order to reflect that both attitudes to the status of British Studies and approaches to the teaching of and research into it were undergoing significant changes, not only in Germany, but across Europe and beyond.

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  • Abstract or Description.
  • Class and Contemporary British Culture.
  • Introduction.
  • Wither (Withered, Book 1).
  • The result is a richly diverse set of papers which, while revealing a high degree of common ground, reflect the healthy pluralism which is characteristic of different approaches to British Studies between and within countries.

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