Introduction: Class, Locality and Ideology

Part of the Explorations in Sociology book series (EIS, volume 19)


Britain’s modern economic crisis has been paralleled by a political one. The massive restructuring of economic activity which has been characteristic of the last twenty years or so1 has been matched by equivalent upheavals in the sphere of politics. The gathering economic storm of the later 1960s engendered what now appears to have been a brief refulgence of nationalisms in Scotland and Wales (Nairn, 1981). The more severe economic rigours of the 1970s have likewise given rise to new political forms and forces: the ‘New Right’ has emerged with a vengeance in the shape of Mrs Thatcher’s two post-1979 Conservative administrations; whilst what is purported to be the ‘centre-ground’ of British politics has been occupied by the new Social Democratic Party (SDP), more latterly in alliance with the resuscitated Liberals (Gamble, 1981; 1983). Moreover, of course, such developments have by no means been confined to Britain, but are echoed in the characteristic developments of other Western European states and, indeed, those of North America.


Labour Movement Labour Party Class Position Political Form Uneven Development 
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© Gareth Rees, Janet Bujra, Paul Littlewood, Howard Newby, and Teresa L. Rees 1985

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