To what extent Thatcherism was hegemonic - Essay Example

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To what extent Thatcherism was hegemonic

In what follows I want to explore his novel White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings as a text that uses the city as the site of opposition, as the locale for a critique of dominant ideology (John Corner and Sylvia Harvey, 1991: p. 11.)
As many commentators have observed, the period of Thatcher's rule was one in which monetarist policies of enterprise and the manipulation of the nation's history went hand in hand. This relationship transformed a number of elements of English national identity. Gone was the post-war optimism in which Britain embraced a far more egalitarian form of social organisation. As John Corner and Sylvia Harvey assert of Thatcherism: "Freedom and independence derive not from civil rights but from choices exercised in the market (Perry Anderson, "The Figures of Descent", 1992, p. 184.)
The sovereignty that matters is not that of king or queen, the lord or the white man, but the sovereignty of the consumer within the marketplace. Massive levels of personal debt and widespread unemployment marked this perceived sovereignty of the consumer. Indeed, as Raphael Samuels suggests, Thatcher's rhetoric managed to effectively obfuscate the fact that her government's policies led to a drastic rise in household debt, from 8 per cent at the beginning of her Prime Minister ship to 14 per cent by its conclusion. ...Show more

Summary

London is a city that historically has always been both integral to the identity of Englishness, as well as a city with its own fiercely independent culture. This tension lies at the heart of the ideology that underpins British national identity. In order to stabilise national identity, London is often subsumed into larger narratives of identity.
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