London Jewish ... and Working-Class? Social Mobility and Boundary-Crossing in Simon Blumenfeld and Alexander Baron

A3 Book section, Chapters in research books

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jason Finch
Editors: Ben Clarke, Nick Hubble
Place: London
Publication year: 2018
Book title: Working-Class Writing: Theory and Practice
Start page: 207
End page: 228
ISBN: 9783319963099
eISBN: 9783319963105


[first paragraph in lieu of abstract]

This chapter examines modifications, multiplicities
and mobilities of social class in the work of two novelists associated with
London and with London Jewish identities who were active between the 1930s and
the 1960s. These were the later decades of the period stretching back to the
1880s in which British social history has been understood as dominated by a
‘mature’ working class, when ‘about 75 per cent of the population were
manual-working wage-earners or people who depended on them’ (McKibbin 2000:
vii). In the period between the 1930s and the 1960s it was widely expected that
novels, alongside films, stage plays and documenting activities such as the
work of Mass Observation, would indicate and provide guides to the way in which
society was changing. Also, for a young working-class writer then, to publish
the sort of novel that would be reviewed in ‘serious’ newspapers was in itself potentially
a class-changing act, an upward social move that was also an act of bringing into the mainstream the sorts of
scenes and voices described in ‘working-class writing’.

Last updated on 2020-31-05 at 03:19