With this underlying premise, it can be argued that the economic conditions during that time due to the Industrial revolution perpetrated the spread of a unique kind of class and gender consciousness. However, it must be noted that this in no way undermines the role and importance of other factors. This argument does not state that the only factor responsible for the changing class and gender consciousness in 19th century England is purely economic in nature. Rather, the economic condition during that period is the most important determinant in class and gender consciousness due to it being inescapable; and because it is inescapable, it became the ground from where the cultural approach—which basically states that English ideologies and rhetoric are more significant in the construction of class and gender identities—sprouted. What the economic condition did was that it aggravated other factors, such as language and rhetoric, and this prompted the “making of the English working class,”1 as well as the “sexual crisis.”2
This paper will show, through notable writings that aim to explain the Industrial Revolution and the resulting class and gender consciousness through the cultural approach, how the economic factors surrounding these explanations cannot be avoided. These are the evidences that this argument will use in proving the premise that the economic situation at that time is the most important factor as it is both ubiquitous and inescapable. Athough these readings use the cultural approach, they still could not help but highlight the underlying reason for these experiences and rhetoric—and that is, the economic condition of that time, whether in the provinces or cities, became the set that staged the changes in familial and societal relationships.
In order to better understand the economic conditions of 19th century England, the Industrial Revolution must be discussed