Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century

Literature, culture and community

By Tom Woodin

Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century


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Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-9111-7
  • Pages: 280
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: August 2018
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, Society & social sciences / Social classes, Society & social sciences / Sociology, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers, Society & social sciences / General, HISTORY / Social History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes, LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, SOCIAL SCIENCE / General, Social & cultural history, Social classes, Sociology, Literary studies: general, Later 20th century c 1950 to c 1999, Sociology
  • Series: Manchester University Press


From the early 1970s, working class writing and publishing in local communities rapidly proliferated into a national movement. This book is the first full evaluation of these developments and opens up new perspectives on literature, culture, class and identity over the past 50 years. Its origins are traced in the context of international shifts in class politics, civil rights, personal expression and cultural change. The writing of young people, older people, adult literacy groups as well as writing workshops is analysed. Thematic chapters explore how audiences consumed this work, the learning of writers, the fierce debates over identity, class and organisation, as well as changing relations with mainstream institutions. The book is accessibly written but engages with a wide range of scholarly work in history, education, cultural studies, literature and sociology. It will be of interest to lecturers and students in these areas as well as the general reader.


'Tom Woodin should be heartily congratulated for his exemplary study of British working-class writing and publishing by 'the fed' (Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers) from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. Woodin provides his readers with a critical yet sympathetic history of 'the fed' and the working class poets and writers whose work it published. By doing so he has made an enormous contribution to the study of working-class literature, and indeed working-class studies, in the UK, US, or elsewhere around the globe.'
Gary Jones, American International College

'A compelling read.'
British Journal of Educational Studies


1 Sources of radicalism
2 Young people's writing
3 The good old days?
4 A beginner reader is not a beginner thinker
5 The workshop and working-class writing
6 Making writers: more writing than welding
7 Alternative publishing and audience participation
8 Chuck out the teacher: critical pedagogy in the community
9 Class and identity
10 The mainstream and the movement


Tom Woodin is Reader in the Social History of Education at the Institute of Education, University College London

Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century

By Tom Woodin

Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

Paperback £21.00 / $30.95

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