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Contradiction and Change: Britain in the Nineties

Contradiction and Change: Britain in the Nineties

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Contradiction and Change: Britain in the Nineties

Lunghezza:
121 pagine
1 ora
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jul 25, 2017
ISBN:
9781370161188
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Do you remember the 1990s in the UK? If you lived through it, you might remember the rises in multiculturalism, new technology and media, and will have experienced first-hand social, political and economic change. The 1990s witnessed a segmentation of popular British culture, and artistic and social rebellion. Were you a part of it?
The writers of this ebook were intrigued by a positive view in the literature on the 1990s which sees the decade as both a buoyant assertion of British culture and a repackaging of ‘Britannia’ for global export, thus fusing together almost everything great that had happened in British culture in the preceding 40 years. Is this how you remember it? This collection of essays takes a broad-based approach to understanding the key developments in social and cultural life in Britain in the 1990s. If you were there, reading this ebook may bring back some fond memories. And even if you weren’t, the essays make for interesting reading on a decade that has come to symbolise a turning point in recent British social history.
The essays collected here were written by postgraduate students on English Studies programmes at Trier University (Germany), who were excited to know about this (in)famous decade. They assess the extent to which 1990s developments were predictable from or reflections of phenomena observed in preceding decades, and evaluate whether and how they actually enriched society in general. The ebook is divided into three parts, namely Changing Britain, Cool Britannia and New Britain, roughly reflecting chronological progression through the decade in a number of areas.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jul 25, 2017
ISBN:
9781370161188
Formato:
Libro

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Contradiction and Change - Clare Maas

Contradiction and Change: Britain in the Nineties

Edited by Clare Maas

Copyright 2017 Clare Maas

Smashwords Edition

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the authors, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favourite authorised retailer. Thank you for your support.

Cover photos used under creative commons licensing.

If you enjoy this book, please see below for how you can show your appreciation by donating to our nominated charity.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Clare Maas

Changing Britain

What’s the story? Labour, Tory – Karina Akuova & Laura Bay

Economic Policy and Social Shifts – Theresa Berhörster & Tobias Serf

Royal Popularity in Crisis – Annika Gehl & Larissa Manderfeld

Cool Britannia

Drug Abuse among Rebellious Youth - Viola Michaelis & Kristina Steuer

Youth Culture and British Popular Music – Anna Brachmann & Kathrin Wirbel

British Cinema in the 1990s – Susanne Beck & Madelaine Schäfer

Fashion Icons in the 1990s – Egle Beinoraviciute & Jeanette Fischer

New Britain

Awkward Partners: EU Support vs. Scepticism – Christine Claes & Valérie Keppenne

Embracing Race – Jana Reimers & Maria Zinchenko

Struggling for Identity – Lisa Terwer

Technological R/Evolution – Lisa Missler & Dana Schmidt

Further Reading Recommendations

Introduction

Do you remember the 1990s in the UK? If you lived through it, you might remember the rises in multiculturalism, new technology and media, and will have experienced first-hand social, political and economic change. The 1990s witnessed a segmentation of popular British culture, and artistic and social rebellion. Were you a part of it?

The writers of this ebook were intrigued by a positive view in the literature on the 1990s which sees the decade as both a buoyant assertion of British culture and a repackaging of ‘Britannia’ for global export, thus fusing together almost everything great that had happened in British culture in the preceding 40 years. Is this how you remember it? This collection of essays takes a broad-based approach to understanding the key developments in social and cultural life in Britain in the 1990s. If you were there, reading this ebook may bring back some fond memories. And even if you weren’t, the essays make for interesting reading on a decade that has come to symbolise a turning point in recent British social history.

The essays collected here were written by postgraduate students on English Studies programmes at Trier University (Germany), who were excited to know about this (in)famous decade. They assess the extent to which 1990s developments were predictable from or reflections of phenomena observed in preceding decades, and evaluate whether and how they actually enriched society in general. The ebook is divided into three parts, namely Changing Britain, Cool Britannia and New Britain, roughly reflecting chronological progression through the decade in a number of areas.

The section Changing Britain includes essays on how life in the UK differed from previous decades and changed during the 1990s, exploring political tendencies, economic decisions, and perceptions of the monarchy. The first essay, entitled What’s the story? Labour, Tory, gives background information on Margaret Thatcher’s Conservative politics and analyses the contradictions and changes that arose with John Major and Tony Blair. The second chapter, entitled Economic Policy and Social Shifts, examines how the economic policies of Thatcher, Major and Blair affected the gap between the richer and poorer inhabitants of the UK in the 1990s. The following essay, Royal Popularity in Crisis, focuses on the decreasing popularity of the Royal Family in the 1990s, evaluating Princess Diana’s death as a potential trigger.

The Cool Britannia section of this ebook explores youth culture and the rebellious tendencies it displayed during the 1990s in Britain. The topics covered in these essays, on drugs, music, fashion and cinema, are highly interconnected. The first chapter, entitled Drug Abuse among Rebellious Youth discusses reasons for the rise of drug abuse during the nineties in Great Britain, especially among young people. The close connection between drug use, youth culture and music is also presented in the following chapter Youth Culture and British Popular Music, one of two chapters of this ebook dealing with music and its relationship with socio-political issues. Changes in society and youth culture were also depicted in British films that were made in this decade. The chapter British Cinema in the 1990s aims to determine whether those films realistically depict living circumstances and lifestyles of people during the 1990s. The last chapter of this section, Fashion Icons in the 1990s describes another way ‘coolness’ and rebellion were expressed in this decade, namely through people’s fashion choices and popular fashion icons.

As the 1990s were also a decade full of innovations in terms of international politics, race and gender issues, and technology, the final section of the ebook, New Britain, analyses these in light of the contradictions and changes that arose. The chapter Awkward Partners: EU Support versus. Scepticism discusses British relations to the European Union and the question of whether the 2016 British EU referendum was a consequence of decisions taken in the 1990s. The subsequent chapter, entitled Embracing Race, explores the issues of multiculturalism and race relations in 1990s Britain and impacts for the future. Similarly, Struggling for Identity discusses the development of the ‘New Lad Culture’ and whether it can be seen as a reaction to earlier feminist movements. The final essay in this collection, Technological R/Evolution, sketches the rapid technological progress witnessed in the 1990s and its influence on everyday life in Britain. These technological innovations, in combination with the new political, racial, and gender attitudes constituted the feeling of a New Britain and the starting point for the new millennium.

We have decided to make our ebook available for free. Instead of charging you to read the essays, we ask you to donate whatever you think our work is worth to SHINE Education charity (UK registered charity number 1082777), by clicking on our JustGiving page.

Clare Maas - Editor

What’s the story? Labour, Tory

Karina Akuova & Laura Bay

When Tony Blair named his party ‘New Labour’ in 1994 and used this for his campaign in 1997, in fact, it was not a revolutionary idea. Beforehand in 1989, a new policy document ‘Meet the Challenge, Make the Change’ was unveiled by the Labour Party, which already showed first signs of New Labour: a growing acceptance of Britain’s economic situation, the shift from unilateralism to multilateralism, and the favour of the party in European issues (Pearce and Stewart 565). Although the Labour Party was in decline, losing many of their voters, they had a good chance of success at the end of the 1990s. After the Thatcher era, followed by the rule of Major, Blair and his New Labour seemed like a reasonable alternative, since people desired change in politics (Kavanagh 4). But how new was the transformed New Labour? Was it really a revolution or just a successful political campaign? Thatcher lost people’s support and Major was described as inefficient (Heppell 382), but was Blair able to fulfil the people’s expectations for change? Even though New Labour promised a completely new political direction, the policies implemented were not really new, but inherited either from the party’s predecessors or previous Prime Ministers.

After ruling Great Britain for 11 years, it is not surprising that Margaret Thatcher and her politics still had a great impact on the politics of the 1990s. When she was first elected in 1979, it was a time of economic and political decline (See: Economic Policy and Social Shifts). The developing crisis caused a high unemployment rate among British workers, and members of the increasing public sector belonged to the lowest-paid employees throughout the UK. During the ‘winter of discontent’ between 1978 and 1979, many of them went on strike (Reitan 24). The Conservatives used these struggles for their campaign and blamed the Labour government for the ‘industrial chaos’ (Pearce and Stewart 520). Consequently, the Labour Party lost many of its voters to the Conservatives. In 1979, Thatcher won the election because [...] the Labour Party had been discredited and she offered new leadership and a fresh start (Reitan 25). After the election, Thatcher moved away from the Labour revolution of 1945 – 1951, and committed to a market economy instead of a planned economy,

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