Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.573132
Title: Nostalgia and the post-war Labour Party, 1951-83
Author: Jobson, Richard
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
This dissertation examines the impact of nostalgia on the political development of the Labour Party between 1951 and 1983. In particular, it looks at the way that nostalgia for a heroic male traditional industrial working class shaped the party's trajectory in these years. New Labour argued that Old Labour was nostalgic but the nature and function of that nostalgia was poorly conceptualised. More generally, the political significance of nostalgia has hitherto been neglected and undervalued by Labour Party historians. I suggest that the idea of the 'nostalgia-identity' - the way in which nostalgia shapes identity and, simultaneously, identity shapes nostalgic memory - offers a useful theoretical lens through which to analyse the history of the Labour Party. In contrast to traditional narratives concerning the political development of the party, I argue that the intraparty conflict over Hugh Gaitskell's attempt to revise Clause IV of the party constitution between 1959 and 1960 should be seen less as a battle over ideology and policy and more as a dispute over the party's nostalgia-identity. I suggest that nostalgia dictated the Labour Party's response to Harold Wilson's modernising 'White Heat' policies between 1963 and 1970 and shaped the parameters within which these policies could be pursued. Nostalgia influenced both the political development and the form of Labour's Alternative Economic Strategy between 1970 and 1983 to such an extent that the strategy itself gained restorative nostalgic dimensions. I conclude that, in a number of ways, nostalgia fundamentally shaped the political development of the Labour Party between 1951 and 1983.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.573132  DOI: Not available
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