Illusive Identity

The Blurring of Working Class Consciousness in Modern Western Culture

Contributions by Daniel J. Doyle, Douglas A. Lea, Pietro Lorenzini, David S. Sims, Thomas J. Edward Walker, Cynthia Gwynne Yaudes Edited by Thomas J. Edward Walker

Paperback - £35.00

Publication date:

17 June 2002

Length of book:

212 pages


Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739103470

Illusive Identity is a transnational exploration of the evolution of working-class consciousness within modern Western culture. The work traces how the rise of popular culture blurred the definition and dulled the influence of class identity in Europe and the United States in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Chapters tackling changing class consciousness in Britain, Germany, Italy, and the United States offer rich insight into the movement from a traditional community-based social identity to a modern consumer-based culture; a mass culture influenced by industrialization, new social institutions, and the powerful imagery of new media. Illusive Identity vividly demonstrates the transformative impact of modernity on the laboring classes, as advertising, entertainment, and the rise of the popular press replaced traditionally shared narratives about the nature of work with a new and liberating cultural paradigm.
I welcome this book, because the issue of class consciousness is a crucial one in our time, and to illuminate it as this book does is to perform an important educational service.