The British Working Class in the Twentieth Century

Film, Literature and Television

John Kirk

John Kirk

Distributed for University of Wales Press

224 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780708321904 Published June 2009 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only

The Full Monty, Billy Elliot, and Brassed Off are among recent iconic working-class British films that have found huge worldwide success. Challenging suggestions that class is no longer relevant for literary or cultural analysis, this volume examines the lives and experiences of the working-class people portrayed in these films and in works of contemporary writing from authors like Jeanette Winterson and Pat Parker in order to assess how working-class lives have changed over the past century—and how these changes have been depicted and explored in a range of fictional and non-fictional texts and films.

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. ‘Unbending the springs of action’: from poverty to affluence in the narrating of class

2. Class, community and ‘structure of feeling’: a ‘sense of loss’ revisited in some working-class writing from the 1980s

3. Figuring the dispossessed: the negative topographies of class

4. Recovered perspectives: women and working-class writing

5. Mapping difference and identity: race, class and the politics of belonging

Conclusion

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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