The Dynamics of Working-class Politics: The Labour Movement in Preston, 1880-1940

The Dynamics of Working-class Politics: The Labour Movement in Preston, 1880-1940

by Michael Savage


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In an important contribution to a perennial debate, Dr Savage argues that over-concentration on national labour movements has ignored the variety of local political strategies developed by working-class movements; these variations show that working-class politics develops on the basis of different types of solidarity rooted in various forms of local social structure. Such mutations are not a recent development, testifying to the decline of class politics, but have been an enduring feature of capitalist societies. In a detailed case study of Preston, Lancashire, Dr Savage shows how the strategies and strengths of the various political parties changed between 1880 and 1940, as workplace solidarities gave way to neighbourhood-based ones, and as changing gender relations in the textile industry facilitated the organisation of women. Its sophisticated use of sociological theory and detailed empirical analysis distinguish The Dynamics of Working-Class Politics as one of the more important essays in historical sociology published in past years.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521125154
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 12/10/2009
Pages: 296
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

List of tables, maps and figures; Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Political practices and the social structure; 2. The diversity of working-class politics; 3. The local bases of practical politics; 4. Labour market structure in Preston, 1880-1940; 5. Urban structure and associational practices; 6. The emergence of independent Labour politics, 1880-1914; 7. The transformation of the Labour party, 1914-40; 8. Conclusions; Appendices; Notes; Bibliography; Indexes.

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