This Is England: British Film and the People's War, 1939-1945


"This study is located in how British films produced during the Second World War "managed" the issue of social class in Britain within the overall situation of "total war" and its concomitant propaganda needs. Several initial assumptions underpin this. First, that in 1939 Britain was a class-based society, and that the rigid division of British society along class lines was its key defining structure, both socially and culturally. Second, that films, especially commercial entertainment films but also documentaries, are excellent sources of information about their contemporary cultures. Third, that the condition of total war in which Britain found itself a short time after the commencement of hostilities would mean that films, and indeed, all mass/popular culture, would respond to the urgency of the situation by taking a special interest in representations of British society. And fourth, following on from this, that British films of the Second World War would, one way or another, be agents of propaganda. From these propositions, the book examines just what these films had to say about social class in the images of Britain they were promulgating, with the corollaries of just how were they saying it, and why were they saying it. Alongside this is a concern with what propaganda purposes were being met by these films." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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