Download Class and Contemporary British Culture by Anita Biressi; Heather Nunn PDF

By Anita Biressi; Heather Nunn

How does tradition articulate, body, organise and convey tales approximately social type and sophistication distinction? What do those tales let us know approximately modern types of luck, failure, fight and aspiration? How have class-based labels been revived or newly-minted to classify the insiders and outsiders of the hot 'age of austerity'? Drawing on examples from the Eighties to the current day this e-book investigates the altering panorama of sophistication and divulges the way it has turn into populated by means of a number of classed figures together with Essex guy and Essex lady, the 'squeezed middle', the 'sharp-elbowed center class', the 'feral underclass', the 'white operating class', the 'undeserving poor', 'selfish child boomers' and others. total, the e-book argues that social category, even though advanced and hugely contested, is still a sound and fruitful direction into realizing how modern British tradition articulates social contrast and social distinction and the numerous charges and investments at stake for all concerned.

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As signalled in our introduction, in the media the inhabitants of Essex were equally lauded for their entrepreneurial grasp of the Thatcherite dream and mocked for their new-money aspirations and flashy workingclass consumerism. Indeed, late 1980s Essex was commonly associated with a host of comic, satirical and mocked popular figures who have come to personify the changing coordinates of social class, the dissolution of class consciousness and the rise of consumer culture. The key 30 Class and Contemporary British Culture figure here is Essex Man, a vulgar, loutish, socio-economic group C2, tabloid-reading, lager-drinking Tory voter (Engel 1996).

Two things happen here in relation to the working class and to Essex people in particular. First, as Lawler (2005:430) argues in her analysis of middle-class taste and disgust, the working class is rendered emblematically white even if this is contrary to its lived complexity. This is evident in the fact that Essex has been depicted as a predominantly white county, making the concept of a black Essex Girl virtually inconceivable even now in the 2010s. 11 Where an Essex Girl such as Goody (who relocated from Bermondsey in South London to Essex as part of her journey through upwards social mobility) has a mixed heritage, this has often been downplayed.

This is evident in the fact that Essex has been depicted as a predominantly white county, making the concept of a black Essex Girl virtually inconceivable even now in the 2010s. 11 Where an Essex Girl such as Goody (who relocated from Bermondsey in South London to Essex as part of her journey through upwards social mobility) has a mixed heritage, this has often been downplayed. Second, working-class taste and values are condemned due to a perception that they are formed via an adoption of black working-class fashion and culture.

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