Illusive Identity

Illusive Identity : The Blurring of Working Class Consciousness in Modern Western Culture

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Illusive Identity is a transnational exploration of the evolution of working-class consciousness within modern Western culture. The work traces how the rise of popular culture blurred the definition and dulled the influence of class identity in Europe and the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Chapters tackling changing class consciousness in Britain, Germany, Italy, and the United States offer rich insight into the movement from a traditional community-based social identity to a modern consumer-based culture; a mass culture influenced by industrialization, new social institutions, and the powerful imagery of new media. Illusive Identity vividly demonstrates the transformative impact of modernity on the laboring classes, as advertising, entertainment, and the rise of the popular press replaced traditionally shared narratives about the nature of work with a new and liberating cultural paradigm.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 212 pages
  • 163.6 x 228.6 x 16.3mm | 326.59g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0739103482
  • 9780739103487

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Cocoa and Class in British Popular Press Advertising: A Process of Cultural Agency Chapter 3 Nazi Labor to 1939: From Working-Class Consciousness to the "People's Community" Chapter 4 Italian Workers and Paradiso: The Don Camillo Stories of Giovanni Guareschi in their Historical Setting Chapter 5 From Guthrie through Dylan to Springsteen: Losing the Working Touch Chapter 6 A Struggle for Hearts and Minds: Labor Age and the Popular Press, 1920-1930 Chapter 7 Tainted Sources: Government/Media Mispresentations in the Case of the IWO Chapter 8 A Final Thought
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Review quote

I welcome this book, because the issue of class consciousness is a crucial one in our time, and to illuminate it as this book does is to perform an important educational service. -- Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States and professor emeritus of Political Science, Boston University
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About Cynthia Gwynne Yaudes

Thomas J. Edward Walker is Professor of History, Philosophy, and the Social Sciences at The Pennsylvania College of Technology. He is the author of Pluralistic Fraternity: A History of the International Worker's Order (1991).
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