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Title: Pressing for reform : the new Liberalism, the new journalism and emotion in Edwardian Liberal newspapers
Author: Stoddart, Susanne Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 9550
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2014
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This thesis explores the representation of the Edwardian new Liberalism and emotion in seven Liberal supporting newspapers. By utilising the burgeoning field of the history of emotion it makes a fresh contribution to our understanding of the new Liberalism, Edwardian political gender identities and the newspapers as historical sources. The main source base is the content of the seven newspapers, which reflect a good range in terms of readership, strength of partisanship and reputation. Between 1906 and 1914 the new Liberal government paved the way for a more socially active state by passing welfare reforms and reducing the House of Lords' power to obstruct legislation. Acknowledging that emotions are culturally defined and can provide a lens for exploring political power and social status, this thesis uncovers details about new Liberal relationships negotiated between groups including: the House of Lords and the democracy; the Liberals and Conservatives, plus the emerging Labour Party; the state and the welfare recipient; and the welfare recipient, their family and the wider community. Considerable flexibility in these relationships is highlighted. The role and importance accorded to the liberal values of individualism, collectivism, liberty and morality depended upon factors including the newspaper and the relationship or reform in question. Evoking emotions such as anger, shame and gratitude, the communication of the new Liberalism was also both influenced by, and impacting upon, gender identities at all levels, from politicians to welfare recipients. Analysing the newspapers' use of emotion, at the centre of this thesis is a reassessment of the press polarisation argument that was taking shape by the Edwardian period, distinguishing between the rational debate and sensationalism presented in elite and popular publications respectively. The individual newspapers are investigated as complex 'emotional communities' that all utilised popular features of the new journalism, such as political cartoons and humaninterest stories, to harness (often rational) emotions and communicate serious political messages.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available