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Working-class Women in 1980s British Drama


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Matošević, Vanesa. (2018). Working-class Women in 1980s British Drama. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Klepač, Tihana].

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This thesis focuses on the representation of working-class women in three plays written during the 1980s in England. The analysed plays are Andrea Dunbar’s The Arbor, Rita, Sue and Bob Too and Shirley. Dunbar’s plays give voice to young working-class women by using their typical discourse and jargon, through which they speak out about problems that are often specific for their gender and class. Even though the girls are active in initiating and accepting relations with boys (and men), they are portrayed as badly educated on terms of sex and reproduction through the fault of schools and (often) their parents who avoid these topics. Their parents are uneducated and apathetic due to Thatcher dismantling the welfare state and not educating nor preparing people for economic liberalism in any way. Furthermore, the girls have bad relationships with their own families because their parents abuse them psychologically and physically. Moreover, the girls enter relationships with abusive partners and become victims of sexual predators. All of these problems that the characters from the plays face are conditioned by their gender and social class. Through their sociological researches McRobbie (2000), Skeggs (1997) and other experts on the working class confirm the vast majority of the problems indicated in the plays and through them we examine the implications of gender and class on the lives of the play’s characters. The private side of life of working-class women is discussed using works by Lawler (2000), McRobbie and Skeggs, and the chapter dedicated to working-class feminism focuses on Martin’s 2009 text on women’s role in unions.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: working-class women, working-class girls, 1980s, drama, Andrea Dunbar
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Klepač, Tihana
Date Deposited: 12 Dec 2018 12:14
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2018 12:14

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