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Title: Factions and class fictions : investigating narratives of resistance in representations of lower-class men in post-War British literature in the New Wave & Thatcherite years, &, If I'm ever to find these trees meaningful I must have you by the thighs : a collection of poems
Author: Smith, Wayne
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 8381
Awarding Body: Brunel University London
Current Institution: Brunel University
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis combines an academic investigation and creative writing practice in an attempt to understand the politics at work within mainstream notions of working-class masculine identity, and the role of literature in these discourses. Beginning with an academic analysis, the formulations and intersection of class and masculinity are outlined, explicating how systems, implemented by the middle-class creation of values, form social narratives whereby men of certain settings with associative lifestyles and practices, are privileged over other less valued groups of men. In this respect, its concerns are primarily with the socio-symbolic. Locating this discourse within an Aristotelian dichotomy of the mind and the body, this theoretical position is then applied in the scrutiny of six mainstream fictional narratives of two historic periods, each originally held to be politically subversive. In calling to question the validity of these original claims, further questions are raised regarding the nature of the mainstream fictional narrative at large, and whether it is an effective way of representing the politics of working-class identity, or whether, by its nature, it serves to reproduce its working-class characters as fixed subjects, immovable from their positions in a stable class system. This line of inquiry is then further explored in the deconstruction of my own creative work, in which I initially sought to represent the concerns of my own working-class heritage. The resulting issues raised with respect to mainstream, linear narrative leading to the investigation of other potential forms of representation for the working-class male, culminating in the exploration of my own shifting identity in a non-linear, multi-directional collection of poetry.
Supervisor: Lynch, C. ; Thorne, M. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Middle-class gaze ; Symbolic violence ; Working-class performance ; Sexualization of masculine subjects ; Selfhood