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'Slumming' in Swinging London?: Class, Gender and the Post-war City in Nell Dunn's Up the Junction (1963)

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Abstract:

The present article uses Nell Dunn's Up the Junction (1963) to explore class, gender and the city in the 1960s. It focuses on three elements: the book's representation of post-war, urban working-class identity; the place of gender and sexuality within that representation; and, finally, Nell Dunn's own position as a middle-class observer. It argues for the continuing relevance and dynamism of class as a social referent in post-war, 'affluent' Britain. The article also explores the meaning of 'slumming' in the context of the mid-twentiethcentury city, against the background of 'affluence' and the emergence of the 'permissive society'. What becomes particularly apparent in both contexts is the importance of femininity and female sexuality in the representation of mid-twentieth-century London, whether in terms of the portrayal of working-class women or the position of the middle-class author.

Keywords: 'SWINGING LONDON'; CLASS; GENDER; NELL DUNN; SEXUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/147800412X13270753069000

Affiliations: Department of History, 2140 Vari Hall, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Canada, M3J 1P3;, Email: sjbrooke@yorku.ca

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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