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By J. Kirk

Category, tradition and Social swap demanding situations the idea of the "death of the operating class." the writer examines a few key concerns for working-class reports: the assumption of the "death" of sophistication; the significance of working-class writing; the importance of position and house for realizing working-class identification; and the centrality of labor in working-class lives. Drawing at the paintings of Raymond Williams, Valentin Volosinov, Mikhail Bakhtin, and others, the e-book seeks to restore methods for brooding about working-class id and event.

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Extra resources for Class, Culture and Social Change: On the Trail of the Working Class

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In the previous chapter, I outlined one significant contribution to the emerging debate, Richard Hoggart’s immensely influential The Uses of Literacy (1957). Hoggart’s engagement with a traditional working-class culture that was, as he saw it, in decline, constituted a powerful argument which had the radical effect of legitimising such cultural formations and their expressions as appropriate for serious scholarly consideration. 2 A year following its publication, however, came an equally powerful contribution to the debate around culture and class and this was Raymond Williams’s Culture and Society (1958).

A broadly ethnographic approach is welcome as a way of going beyond the usual poststructuralist fetishisation of the text or radical reading. The developed framework further facilitates articulation: for the writer-scholar, intent on illuminating working-class life, and for those represented, whose thoughts and feelings remain inhibited without it. To challenge and contest dominant stereotypes of working-class life derived from the ‘spectatorial premise’ (Charlesworth, 2000, p. 132) is central to Charlesworth’s thesis.

Williams remained highly critical of this way of seeing “the masses”; indeed, it can be argued that the kind of paternalist welfarism he criticised can be easily transmuted into a pathological disdain when those “chosen” to be brought into the bourgeois fold reject or ignore the cultural treasures on offer. As Francis Mulhern puts it: ‘paternalism always knows in advance what “the masses” really need. Commerce always knows in advance what paternalism fears, that what the customer actually wants is something else’ (Mulhern, 2000, p.

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