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A Weekend with Elektra

A Weekend with Elektra Carolyn Steedman University of Warwick Arraignment There have been many charges brought against The Making of the English Working Class. Only five years after its publication, there were a dozen or so for Thompson to answer, in the 'Postscript' to the paperback edition of 1968. The trouble caused by Thompsonion definitions of 'experience', 'class' and 'class consciousness' will probably rumble on to the last syllable of historiographic time (though attention to these categories has waned a little recently under the influence of the linguistic turn in historical studies). But the last charge against the book, the one that is still current and still unanswered and for which more and more evidence continues to be adduced, is to do with gender. In fact, Joan Scott's commentary on this question in Gender and the Politics of History of 1988 involves two accusations. The first is one that had been made many times before, concerning the absence of women from Thompson's text (or their merely sporadic appearance as either wives or embodiments of chiliastic irrationality}.' The second is to do with the way in which sexual difference is present in the pages of The Making, even whilst women are a certain absence: http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Literature & History SAGE

A Weekend with Elektra

Literature & History , Volume 6 (1): 26 – Mar 1, 1997

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Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 1997 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0306-1973
eISSN
2050-4594
DOI
10.1177/030619739700600102
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Carolyn Steedman University of Warwick Arraignment There have been many charges brought against The Making of the English Working Class. Only five years after its publication, there were a dozen or so for Thompson to answer, in the 'Postscript' to the paperback edition of 1968. The trouble caused by Thompsonion definitions of 'experience', 'class' and 'class consciousness' will probably rumble on to the last syllable of historiographic time (though attention to these categories has waned a little recently under the influence of the linguistic turn in historical studies). But the last charge against the book, the one that is still current and still unanswered and for which more and more evidence continues to be adduced, is to do with gender. In fact, Joan Scott's commentary on this question in Gender and the Politics of History of 1988 involves two accusations. The first is one that had been made many times before, concerning the absence of women from Thompson's text (or their merely sporadic appearance as either wives or embodiments of chiliastic irrationality}.' The second is to do with the way in which sexual difference is present in the pages of The Making, even whilst women are a certain absence:

Journal

Literature & HistorySAGE

Published: Mar 1, 1997

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