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Writing the wave: an argument for the didactic imperative of the British radical socialist literary tradition and its influence in the Australian context

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This essay argues for the recognition of the importance of the continuity of the historical British radical socialist literary tradition for the role that this tradition has played in the education of the working class and the evolution of modern western adult education. It is further proposed that that this tradition has been perennially marginalized by the dominance of the liberal tradition and its partnership in the hegemony of capitalism. The suggestion is made that, through the cultural practice of absorption, the liberal tradition has laid claim to many of those advancements in working class education which are more truthfully products of the radical socialist tradition. The influence of the British tradition on the development of the Australian radical socialist literary tradition is discussed. It is argued that it is the radical socialist tradition that carries a message of hope for the great mass of humanity, providing an alternative social perspective to the cynicism of capitalism's economic Darwinism. The case is made for a re-valuing and continuity of a distinct socialist literary tradition as a means of continuing the provision of an alternative argument against capitalist ideological hegemony.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/026013700293377

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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