Structure of Class Feeling / Feeling of Class Structure:Laura Wade’s Posh and Katherine Soper’s Wish List

Aston, Elaine Frances (2018) Structure of Class Feeling / Feeling of Class Structure:Laura Wade’s Posh and Katherine Soper’s Wish List. Modern Drama, 61 (2). pp. 127-148. ISSN 0026-7694

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Abstract

Theatre’s counter-hegemonic resistance to the “demonization of the working class” (Owen Jones) is the subject of this article. This resistance is analysed through case studies of two “class acts”: the elite Oxford boys in Laura Wade’s Posh (2010) and poverty-stricken youth in Katherine Soper’s Wish List (2016). My close reading of these two plays involves a reprise of Raymond Williams’s “structure of feeling”: the conjugation of “structure” and “feeling” allows me to engage with and advocate a dual concern with systems of classification, and the affective, experiential (lived) dimension of being “classified.” Moving between the class-fuelled feelings of entitlement in Posh and those of alienation in Wish List, I elucidate how, under the UK’s regime of neoliberal austerity, the label “working class” has become “sticky” (Sara Ahmed) with disgust-making properties (Pierre Bourdieu). Overall, what emerges is a critical feeling for the UK as a class-divided nation and the urgent need to resist the entrenched classifying gaze of the neoliberalist imagination.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Modern Drama
Additional Information:
© 2018 University of Toronto Press
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1208
Subjects:
ID Code:
89016
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 Nov 2017 11:26
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
21 Sep 2020 00:10