University of Hertfordshire

  • Sheila Cohen
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Pages (from-to)395-416
JournalLabor History
Journal publication date2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008


This paper examines the last notable period of working-class unrest in Britain and America, the 1968-74 'upsurge'. It questions the widespread dismissal of such workplace-based, 'economistic' forms of resistance as disconnected from more explicitly political forms of rebellion. The explosive, dynamic character of the rebellion is argued to have contained both the potential and actuality of a transformed consciousness and thus fundamental questioning of existing political and economic relations. The loss of 'what might have been' is attributed less to absence of a grand political narrative, despite the ruling-class panic of 1974, than to a simple failure to build cross-class networks which could have achieved the coordination and unity of often separate struggles.


Original article can be found at: Copyright Taylor & Francis [Full text of this article is not available in the UHRA]

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