An historical and cultural study of class, both as a media-perceived image and as it existed in reality, in Britain, the USA and France from 1930 to the end of the 1970s. The author focuses on the changes which have evolved in social attitudes and the present perception of class distinction.
Class is an emotive subject, and never more so than today. It is part of the very fabric of our contemporary society and Professor Marwick's major historical study of the phenomenon is therefore of importance to anyone who is interested in the pattern of social and political life in recent years, particularly since it compares British experiences with those of France and the United States - two countries which, despite fashionable mythology, are also very class-conscious. Class is examined as it is actually understood by people rather than as presented by theorists and ideologues. His fascinating array of evidence - from academic writings; from official sources; from private letters; diaries and interviews; and from feature films, television and newspapers - vividly illustrates how significant class has been and still is in all three countries. This new thoroughly revised and considerably expanded edition takes account of recent research and developments and brings the analysis firmly up to the present day.