P28
Social transformation in the United Kingdom: appropriation, class and identity

Convenors:
Elizabeth Hart
Cathrine Degnen (Newcastle University, UK)
Gillian Evans (University of Manchester)
Chair:
Pnina Werbner
Discussant:
Marilyn Strathern
Location:
G
Start time:
11 December, 2008 at 8:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

The aim of this panel is to synthesise ideas about social transformation and identity which in different but related ways are the subject of ongoing discussion and debate amongst anthropologists and others concerned with social change in the UK.

Long abstract:

The aim of this panel is to synthesise ideas about social transformation and identity which in different but related ways are the subject of ongoing discussion and debate amongst anthropologists and others concerned with social change in the UK (see for example, Macdonald et al. 2005). Appropriation is conceptualised as the creative process of coming to terms with - narrating, remembering, sense-making and learning about - the profound implications of socio-economic and political change. Themes include: - how notions of belonging and of self are mediated through discourses of 'knowing' and about place in the former coalfields of South Yorkshire (Degnen) - how recent interest in Family History and genealogical research in the UK deepens contemporary understandings of social class and renders class identity more arbitrary (Edwards) - the social and political position of the white working classes in contemporary Britain (Evans) - narratives of loss and displacement amongst former pottery workers (Hart) - how forms of low-status hospital work and a discourse of working-class masculinity are individually reconstrued to express intimacy and solicitousness, even gentleness (Rapport) - the formation and inheritance of interracial identities (i.e 'mixed-race') (Tyler) References Macdonald, S., Edwards, J. and Savage, M. (2005) Introduction: Community, Continuity and Change in the Study of Britain: A Festschrift for Ronnie Frankenberg Sociological Review, 53, 587-602.