England's Discontents unpacks the genealogy of British identities over the last two hundred years as they have been shaped by the main political cultures and their interactions with cultural politics.
Conservatism, social liberalism, economic liberalism, social democracy and socialism in partnership and conflict, have forged different models of national belonging and identity. Wayne draws on Gramsci's work to reassess debates about Britishness and renew Gramsci's relevance to understanding our contemporary discontents.
In doing so, he reveals that England's enduring attachment to economic liberalism is in danger of eroding all other political cultures, even conservatism, liberalism and the British state.
Mike Wayne is Professor of Film and Television Studies at Brunel University, London. He is the author of England's Discontents: History, Politics, Culture and Identities (Pluto, 2018), Understanding Film (Pluto, 2005) and Marxism and Media Studies (Pluto, 2003).
'This is a hugely ambitious and seriously rewarding genealogy of Britishness. Navigating the East India Company and Brexit, conservatism and liberalism, Gramsci and Stuart Hall, Mike Wayne has produced a fantastic analysis of the contradictions of our political culture' - Des Freedman, Professor of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London
'Wayne's excellent book delivers home truths and important historical lessons with authority, clarity and conviction. Its call for a radical version of social democracy is both convincing and energising. Anyone seeking the sign-posts for social change should read this' - Anita Biressi, Professor of Media and Society, University of Roehampton
'In the aftermath of Brexit, Mike Wayne's provocative re-reading of the tangled historical relations between Britain's contesting political cultures forces us to think again about the exercise of power, the imagination of nationhood and the possibilities for change' - Graham Murdock, Professor of Culture and Economy, Loughborough University
'Provides a valuable analysis of how Britain is ruled and the ideology and culture of its elite' - Counterfire
'An exploration of English national identity that provides a highly effective insight towards understanding the politucal terrain of post-Brexit Britain' - Philosophy Football
1. Political Cultures and National Identities: A Gramscian Framework
2. The Formation of Political Cultures
3. Conservative Culture and the Economy
4. Conservative Culture and the State
5. The Oscillations of Liberalism
6. Geopolitical Discontents: A Tale of Two Referendums
7. Hegemony in Question: Stuart Hall, Gramsci and Us
8. Going Forwards, Facing Backwards
Published by Pluto Press in Oct 2018
Paperback ISBN: 9780745399331
eBook ISBN: 9781786803221