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Subterranean bourgeois blues: the second English folk revival, c. 1945-1970

Mitchell, JY; (2014) Subterranean bourgeois blues: the second English folk revival, c. 1945-1970. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis explores the folk revival phenomenon in England, through an original examination of its place in the social and political history of the country after the Second World War. Although its roots stretched back to the early twentieth century, the post-war English folk revival significantly occurred in the context of the nation’s de-industrialisation, and exposed tensions between, on the one hand, a nostalgic lament for a fast-disappearing working class life, and a ‘forward-looking’ socialist vision of working-class culture. The original contribution to knowledge of this project lies in its analytic approach to the English folk revival as an important part of the post-war political culture. It looks at the revival from the outside in, and contextualizes the movement in the social and political story of post-war England, while also placing it within a dynamic transnational framework, a complex cross-Atlantic cultural exchange with its more well-known American contemporary. In so doing, this thesis contributes to the existing historiographies of folk revivalism in England, as well as the social and political historiographical discourses of the postwar period: the continued salience of class in English society; the transformation of the nation’s economic infrastructures; the social and political influence of the Welfare State – the folk revival tapped into all of these overlapping strands, and helped to magnify them.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: Subterranean bourgeois blues: the second English folk revival, c. 1945-1970
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Folk revival, Labour Party, Political Culture, Americanisation, Regionalism, Mass Culture
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1428635
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