Dialectical Anthropology

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 105–142 | Cite as

Fiends, friends and fools: screen images and/as rural struggle

  • Tom Brass

The snobbery of our films is not aristocratic. In British films, the aristocracy is generally…treated, though respectfully, as a fine old figure of fun. Similarly, the functions of working class characters are chiefly comic, where they are not villainous. They make excellent servants, good tradesmen, and first-class soldiers. – The film director Anderson (2004: 235) writing in 1956 about the way in which class was represented in British films.

Laughter, whether conciliatory or terrible, always occurs when some fear passes. It indicates liberation either from physical danger or from the grip of logic. – Adorno and Horkheimer (1977: 364) on why humorous images of the rich and powerful may be advantageous to the latter.

If you laugh at your leaders, you don’t cut off their heads. – A comment by Lord (Kenneth) Baker, Minister in the Conservative governments of Margaret Thatcher during the 1980s, in the course of a radio interview on 2 February 2006 about the impact on Muslim opinion of...


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Formerly of Social and Political SciencesUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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