Working-class writing, publishing and education : an investigation of three 'moments'
This study explores the work and experience of working-class writers in three Imoments l and the contexts in which their writing has been produced and published. A class a~ymmetrv of access to writing and publishing is seen to characterise all three Imoments l , disadvantaging working-class people, and to explain a corpus of work that, because it remains largely obscure, both surprises the student by its extent while at the same time remaining relatively 2 modest in quantity. The processes of writing and publishing receive increasing attention and come to be seen as powerfully educational for participants. This by-product~educational strand of (especially recent) working-class writing and publishing is set within a tradition of working-class collective self-education and its success set against a pattern of provided schooling that typically has failed (in both sense~) working-class students. The Introduction sets out the origins and development of the study; explores 80me of the key terms of' the title; expounds the structure of ideas; presents an 'overview ' ; and explains the research activities and '~ase-studv' approach developed. eart I explores a 'first moment of working-class writing': roughly the first half of the nineteenth century. Poetry and prose-autobiography are considered with special attention to a particular cluster of texts and to the precursors and contexts of writers and writings. Part II investigates a 'second moment l which began around 1930, climaxed in the three or four veal'S before the outbreak of World War II and had ended by 1945. The approach here is by means of two 'casestudies' and a brief 'overview' that refers to parallels and contrasts in contemporaneous developments in France. At the climax of the study ~art III explores the context end developments of communitY-Dublishinq and workinq-class writinq since 1971. This ohase of the dissertation draws on study of some three hundred oublications and of the oriqins and processes of the Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers (FWWCP) and its constituent qroups. Additionally, attention is paid to such overlapping developments as Historv Workshop and the Oral Historv SOCiety. A brief consideration of publications arising in pit communities from the Miners' Strike) 1984-1985, is used to draw together lConclusion) and underline the main arguments of the study.