Popular Culture and Working-class Taste in Britain, 1930-39

Popular Culture and Working-class Taste in Britain, 1930-39

A Round of Cheap Diversions?

eBook - 2010
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McMillan Palgrave
This book examines the relationship between class and culture in 1930s Britain. Focusing on the reading and cinema-going tastes of the working classes, Robert James’ landmark study combines rigorous historical analysis with a close textual reading of visual and written sources to appraise the role of popular leisure in this fascinating decade.
Drawing on a wealth of original research, this lively and accessible book adds immeasurably to our knowledge of working-class leisure pursuits in this contentious period. It is a key intervention in the field, providing both an imaginative approach to the subject and an abundance of new material to analyse, thus making it an undergraduate and graduate "must-have." It will be a particularly welcome addition for anyone interested in the fields of cultural and social history, as well as film, cultural and literary studies.


Blackwell Publishing
Contemporaries of the 1930s frequently argued that popular culture was escapist tosh, responsible for the country's decline and the cause of society's cultural debasement For them, and for many historians since, popular fiction and films provided `a round of cheap diversions' from which the working classes obtained no cultural merit. James challenges this position, claiming that working-class consumers used these leisure pursuits for a variety of reasons: to be comforted or reassured, to gain confidence, a sense of belonging or proportion. In addition, through a range of case studies, he demonstrates that patterns of taste were never uniform, and that consumer tastes and behaviour were often determined by class, gender, generational or geographical differences.

Drawing on a wealth of original research, this lively and accessible book adds immeasurably to our knowledge of working-class leisure pursuits in this contentious period. It is a key intervention in the field, providing both an imaginative approach to the subject and an abundance of new material to analyse, thus making it an undergraduate and postgraduate `must-have'. It will be a particularly welcome addition for anyone interested in the fields of cultural and social history, as well as film, cultural and literary studies.

Publisher: Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2010
ISBN: 9781847793126
1847793126
0719080258
9780719080258
Characteristics: 1 online resource (289 pages)

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