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Title: Representation of class in contemporary English cinema
Author: Dave, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 2655
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2004
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This thesis is a study of the representation of class in English film culture which focuses primarily on films and written texts produced between 1978 and 2002. My approach to these representations takes the work of Ellen Meiksins Wood on the theoretical principles of historical materialism as its most general methodological guide. Thus, I seek to place representations of class within a conceptual framework which, like the one found in Wood's work, puts emphasis on approaching class as a relational and conflictual social phenomenon lying at the heart of capitalist society. Such a move involves establishing a dual-focus on both images of class and capitalism. Consequently I seek to embed my examples of the representation of class within a characterisation of the contemporary moment of capitalism as a specifically neo-liberal one. Related to this joining of the perspectives of class and capitalism is my attempt to explore, in the context of contemporary film and film criticism, Wood's historical thesis that Englishness forms the `pristine culture of capitalism'. Her idea that cultures of Englishness exaggerate class understood as an identity, and at the same time conceal its dynamic role as an antagonistic relationship central to capitalism, has determined my focus on an English rather than a wider, British cinema. The material for study has been drawn from diverse areas - examples of mainstream and experimental film are discussed here, as are different forms of criticism and literature. However, the intention is not to provide a systematic overview of national film production or patterns of criticism during this period, but rather to generate distinctive readings of films and critical texts from the particular historical materialist conceptualisation of class, capitalism and English referred to above.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available