Working-class Studies: A Reading List


Today the boyfriend and I were due to go for a picnic but in true Northern style, the weather’s been terrible giving me more time though to update this blog.

I’ve been meaning to share for a while now some of the texts I’ve been reading as an introduction to working-class literature. This is only a stepping off point and is in no way meant to be a comprehensive list. I welcome any suggestions and recommendations for the list. The criteria is quite broad, though where possible I’ve tried to pay to special attention to the works of (female) working-class writers or those with a specific (female) working-class focus. I haven’t divided it up into primary and secondary sources nor have I separated by country. I’m fully aware that the list is very Eurocentric, however my area of interest is in British and American working-class studies. I will also continue to update the list below when I find something new.

Reading List

Ashraf, P. M. (1979) Introduction to Working-Class Literature in Great Britain. Part II: Prose. Berlin: VEB Kongres-und Werbedruck Oberlungwitz.

Behagg, C. (2000) Labour and Reform: Working-Class Movements 1815-1914. (2nd ed.) London: Hodder & Stoughton

Bourdieu, P. (1984) Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Trans. Richard Nice. London: Routledge.

Campbell, B. (1984) Wigan Pier Revisited. London: Virago.

Carnie Holdsworth, E. (1925) This Slavery. London: Labour.

—————————– . (1917) Helen of Four Gates. London: Jenkins.

Cisneros, S. (1983) The House on Mango Street. Houston: Arte Publico Press.

Davis, A. (1982) Women Race and Class. London: Women’s Press.

Fox, P. (1994) Class Fictions: Shame and Resistance in the British Working Class Novel, 1890–1945 (Post-Contemporary Interventions). London: Duke University Press Books.

Gaskell, E. (1970, 1954-5) North and South. London: Penguin.

Harding Davis, R. (1861, 2012) Life in the Iron-Mills. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform .

Haywood, I. (1997). Working Class Fiction (Writers and Their Work (Paperback)). Plymouth: Northcote House Publishers.

Hunt, P. (1980) Gender and Class Consciousness. London: Macmillan.

Jones, O. (2011) Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class. London: Verso Books.

———— (2015) The Establishment: And how they get away with it. London: Penguin.

Mahony, P & Zmroczek, C. (1997) Class Matters: ‘Working Class’ Women’s Perspectives on Social Class. Oxford: Taylor & Francis.

Michael, L. (1992) Under a thin moon. London: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd.

Olsen, T. (1964) Tell Me A Riddle. London: Faber and Faber.

————– (1975) Yonnondio. London: Faber and Faber

Phillips, A. (1987) Divided Loyalties: Dilemmas of Sex and Class. London: Virago.

Piercy, M. (2006) Sex Wars. London: Piatkus; New Ed edition

—————- (1976) Woman on the Edge of Time. New York: Knopf.

Savage, M. (2015) Social Class in the 21st Century. London: Pelican.

Schreiner, O. (1978, 1911) Women and Labour. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

Sennett, R. & Cobb, J (1977) The Hidden Injuries of Class. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Skeggs, B. (1997). Formations of Class & Gender: Becoming Respectable (Published in association with Theory, Culture & Society). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat. London: Bloomsbury.

Stedman-Jones, G (1983) Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History 1832-1982. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Steedman, C. (1986) Landscape for a Good Woman. London:Virago

Thompson, E. P. (1968) The Making of the English Working Class. London: Penguin.

Todd, S. (2014) The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class. London: John Murray

Wilkinson, E. (1929, 1989) Clash. London: Virago.



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