Class and cultural colonization in the era of austerity: The dialectics of identity and de-subordination

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Abstract

This chapter examines themes surrounding notions of class and culture in contemporary Britain. Historically social stratification has occurred as a consequence of a range of factors, including slavery, caste and estate, but more prevalent in the capitalist era are distinctions made on the basis of social class. Identifying the existence of social stratification and class precipitates the thorny question of its relationship to culture/cultural politics in relation to austerity. The British working class has developed an intricate web of traditions, norms, values, habits, practices and dialects which separate its inhabitants from those of other social classes. However, the demonization of the working class is an integral part of a much broader cultural process which reflects the continuing hegemony of neo-liberal ideology. However, as a form of political praxis, multiculturalism often prioritizes pluralism and the celebration of difference, which can erode the capacity for collective working class agency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultural Politics in the Age of Austerity
EditorsDavid Berry
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter6
Pages120-144
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9781315575353
ISBN (Print)9780367085377
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018

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