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The Winter of DiscontentMyth, Memory, and History$
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Tara Martin López

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781380291

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781380291.001.0001

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Ghosts of the Past: Myth and the Winter of Discontent

Ghosts of the Past: Myth and the Winter of Discontent

(p.7) 1 Ghosts of the Past: Myth and the Winter of Discontent
The Winter of Discontent

Tara Martin López

Liverpool University Press

The chapter explores how the Winter of Discontent has been mythologized and indelibly set in popular memory. The author argues that Conservative Party and New Labour politics have been especially crucial in shaping the myth and memory of the Winter of Discontent, which was crystalized through media representation of this important series of events. The author incorporates historian Paul Cohen’s definition of myth to provide the basis upon which the author will not only analyse the political influences upon this myth, but also how it has become so profoundly embedded in British popular memory. The chapter introduces how historian George Lipsitz’s idea of “counter-memory” and feminist historian Ava Baron’s more fluid definition of gender provide essential conceptual frameworks to understand how the experiences of striking activists, especially female activists, challenge the hegemonic myth of this series of events that occurred in 1978-1979. Furthermore, Colin Hay’s analysis of the role the media plays in perpetuating what he refers to as a collective mythology of the Winter of Discontent offers another lens through which the author examines the connection between the media and myth of the Winter of Discontent.

Keywords:   Winter of Discontent, New Labour, media representation, Paul Cohen, George Lipsitz, Ava Baron, Colin Hay, counter-memory, myth

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