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Title: Another London : a novel and critical commentary investigating representations of the white working class in media, politics and literature in an age of multiculturalism
Author: Crewe, Jonathon R.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6062 1474
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2017
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This project consists of a creative component in the form of a novel and a critical commentary that investigates white working-class representation in mainstream media, politics and literature, and its links to socio-economic and political inequality in a purportedly democratic society. The creative component of this thesis, Another London, is a novel in six parts of approximately 91,000 words. It is set on a council estate in East London between 1991 and 2011 and follows the social and psychological development of a white working-class boy into adulthood as he lives through fictionalised parallels of real-life events, such as the London terrorist attacks in 2005. At the age of eleven he witnesses a racially-motivated murder that affects his relationships with his friends, family and local community. Unable to find a job, he turns to a violent gang for work. Influenced by far-right political party rhetoric, the gang begins to perpetrate hate crimes, which forces the protagonist to confront his own ethnic and class identity. The critical component uses a series of case studies and close readings of political speeches to analyse how media and political elites use the white working class as scapegoats for socio-economic inequality and systemic racism. Using Fredric Jameson’s theory of the ideologeme it traces representations of working- and white working-class characters from the Victorian era through to contemporary literary texts and shows how they have been influenced by, and fed back into, mainstream representations of the (white) working class. The thesis then examines the use of free indirect discourse in literary texts and how it feeds back into stereotyped representations of the (white) working class. The creative component, by juxtaposing free-indirect discourse and first person narration, exposes the ideologemes of white working-class literary representation by providing a space in the public arena for white working-class voices to be heard, and therefore challenging the stereotypical representations of the white working class as espoused by media and political elites.
Supervisor: Vlitos, P. Sponsor: University of Surrey
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available