‘Othering’ and the Persistence of Imperial Attitudes: Media Representations of Ethnicity, Gender and Class in the Grunwick Dispute

In this article Phoebe Brown analyses media representations of the 1976-1978 Grunwick industrial dispute. Phoebe focuses on the role of the South Asian women involved, analysing a variety of media sources and highlighting how they emphasised particular aspects of the strikers’ identity  to serve diverse political agendas: the right-wing press, for example, emphasised the women’s ethnicity and gender to undermine their position as workers and political activists so as to not disrupt their prevailing ethnocentric vision of the social order. The socialist media, on the other hand, emphasised the women’s position as workers and political activists, depicting the Union movement as inclusive of minorities. Overall, Phoebe highlights how and why the media representation of the strikers did not acknowledge the complexity of the South Asian women’s identities. The ‘othering’ of the South Asian women and the media’s reinforcement of various stereotypes demonstrates how difficult Britain found transitioning to an increasingly diverse, post-colonial society. Contemporary interpretations and commemorations of the Grunwick dispute provide further evidence of how this transition may, as yet, be far from complete.

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Phoebe Brown

Author Biography 

Phoebe Brown graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2017. This article formed part of Phoebe’s undergraduate dissertation supervised within the Department of History.

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Book Review: Daniel Martin Varisco’s, Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid

 

In this article David Robinson explores how historians communicate, interpret and commentate on the work of Edward Said. As David acknowledges, most Arts and Humanities students will encounter  Said’s canonical work, Orientalism, at some point during their degree. For those uninitiated or inexperienced in literary criticism, however, it can be a difficult, even opaque, text. Unsurprisingly, many turn to commentaries on Orientalism; to borrow a bad pun from the work under review here, to see what has been said about Said. David argues that while Daniel Martin Varisco’s Reading Orientalism: Said and the Unsaid, (Seattle, WA., 2007) is certainly a comprehensive study and is to be recommended to students as a reference work on Said,  it fails in its primary aim of going ‘beyond the binary’ of East versus West.

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David Robinson

Author Biography

David Robinson is a second-year, AHRC-M3C-funded PhD student supervised by the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. His thesis is entitled ‘Orientalism or Meridionism? Comparing Imperial and European Travel Writing in the Creation of British and European Identity’ and explores the British construction of Italy and India as cultural and geographical spaces contributing to British identity formation.

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Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Hollywood’s Misrepresentation of the Politics of Interracial Relationships in 1960s America

In this article Sarah Dunne analyses the 1967 film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? and critiques the unrealistic representation of racism and class politics in the struggle for interracial marriage equality in 1960s America.

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Sarah Dunne

Author Biography

Sarah Dunne is a first-year PhD student in the Department of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Sarah’s current research focuses on representations of gender roles and female sexuality in twentieth century US popular culture and visual media.  This essay formed part of Sarah’s MA in American Studies at the University of Nottingham.

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