Mining the Meaning: Cultural Representations of the 1984-5 UK Miners' Strike

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This innovative study provides an exciting, challenging and accessible critical introduction to cultural representations of 1984 5 and analyses the ways in which these representations articulate an essential dialogic exchange of issues central to both the coal dispute and the development of literary and cultural studies over the past twenty five years. Focusing closely on the politics of form, the study interrogates the significance of the mode, means and function of strikers writings, as well as alternative representations of the conflict offered by established writers, musicians, artists and film-makers in the wake of the coal dispute. These representations are worthy of study due to the critical interventions they offer, their evidence of the cultural pressures and forces of not only the strike period, but the post-strike years of industrial and labour change and their remarkable contribution to existing social, political and literary histories. Engaging with these works, many of which have never been subject to previous academic analysis, the study enables twenty-first-century readers to re-conceptualise paradigms of received wisdom concerning 1984 5. The significance of the competing representations offered by these very different cultural modes as they engage in a wider battle to author the conflict is central to this study. Through a detailed analysis of these representations, as well as the socio-cultural contexts of their production and dissemination, this book explores a range of attempts to capture the sensibilities of late twentieth century society and contributes to an ongoing debate regarding cultural representations of this period in British history. Influenced by critical theory, the text is the first secondary resource concerning cultural representations of the 1984 5 UK miners strike available to the reading public the world over.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationNewcastle-upon-Tyne
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages240
ISBN (Electronic)9781443837859
ISBN (Print)1443837857
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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