To concede or to contest? Language and class struggle

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Critical reflection on language and its relation to power and ideology is increasingly central to contemporary social. For those whose primary interest is around questions of class and class struggle this development might appear as a double-edged sword. This chapter focuses on the account of the work-in provided by Foster and Woolfson, and some of the archive materials on which their work is based, to look in detail at one particularly interesting episode during the work-in. It shows how the leading stewards first rebuffed and then 'expropriated' the social democratic language of 'co-operation' and 'negotiation' which was mobilised against them by the Government, the trades unions and the media in an attempt to bring the work-in to an end. The chapter explores how a focus on language or 'discourse' can continue to complement and enhance the approaches of social scientists whose primary interest remains focused on questions of class and class struggle.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTo make another world
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Protest and Collective Action
EditorsColin Barker, Paul Kennedy
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781859723265
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Political Advocacy
  • Class
  • Language


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