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Canonical Generations and the British Left: The Narrative Construction of the Miners’ Strike 1984–85

Nettleingham, David (2017) Canonical Generations and the British Left: The Narrative Construction of the Miners’ Strike 1984–85. Sociology-the Journal of the British Sociological Association, 51 (4). pp. 850-864. ISSN 0038-0385. (doi:10.1177/0038038515604308)

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Abstract

‘Generations’ have been invoked to describe a variety of social and cultural relationships, and to understand the development of self-conscious group identity. Equally, the term can be an applied label and politically useful construct; generations can be retrospectively produced. Drawing on the concept of ‘canonical generations’ – those whose experiences come to epitomise an event of historic and symbolic importance – this article examines the narrative creation and functions of ‘generations’ as collective memory shapes and re-shapes the desire for social change. Building a case study of the canonical role of the miners’ strike of 1984–85 in the narrative history of the British left, it examines the selective appropriation and transmission of the past in the development of political consciousness. It foregrounds the autobiographical narratives of activists who, in examining and legitimising their own actions and prospects, (re)produce a ‘generation’ in order to create a relatable and useful historical understanding.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0038038515604308
Uncontrolled keywords: autobiography canon generations memory miners’ strike narrative socialism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research > Sociology
Depositing User: David Nettleingham
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2016 10:08 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 17:06 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/54529 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Nettleingham, David: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7282-9366
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