Middle class radicalism and the media : banning the bomb in Britain, 1954-65
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The dissertation explores the relationship between middle class radicalism and the media in Britain between 1954 and 1965. It demonstrates how developments in media communications and discourse influenced the radical movement to ban-the-bomb. The rise of visual and commercial media, combined with the shift of media discourse away from the frameworks of the class system and the Cold War, led to an expansion of the boundaries of democratic debate: both in terms of the issues which were open to dispute and the groups which were able to dispute them. It enabled pacifists and socialists to mobilise a movement by co-ordinating anti-nuclear propaganda with media coverage. Since they adapted their tactics according to the success with which they secured coverage in the media, their relationship with it was integral to the evolution of the ban-the-bomb and peace movements. The relationship between middle class radicalism and the media was significant not only for the political cultures of pacifism and socialism, however, but also for the nature of democracy and the public sphere in Britain. By exploiting developments in media communications and discourse, radicals also influenced public life. The activists, artists, intellectuals and rank-and-file supporters who participated in the movement forged and popularised forms of protest in and outside of the media and the legal and political system.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: Electronic copy restricted until 23rd May 2020, pending formal approval
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations
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