This work explores the development, maintenance, and fracture or transformation of the collective identity that defined the British upper class in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the historical/cultural narratives that developed around the fracture of that collective identity, and on the affect that both identity fracture and narratives exercised on British society, culture, and politics during and after the First World War. We examine the process by which that collective identity was transmitted from generation to generation, examine the damage done to upper class collective identity during and in the wake of WW I, and explore the expression of that damaged identity in the development and influence of historical/cultural narratives generally identified as Lost Generation narratives.
The theoretical framework used in this dissertation is based on the work of a group of sociologists that includes Alberto Melucci, Manuel Castells, Harold Kerbo, John Ogbu, Jeffrey Alexander, Ron Eyerman, and Kai Erikson. Their analyses are grounded in Identity Theory and Social Identity Theory—a body of theory that seeks to describe the formation, maintenance, and transformation of both individual and collective identities. The historical analysis used in this effort involves the work of a range of historians and theoreticians. These include historians who focus on British social/cultural history and/or on the history of Britain during the First World War (e.g. J.M. Winter, David Cannadine, Samuel Hynes, Lawrence James, Paul Fussell, and Angela Lambert) as well as historians and theoreticians who focus on literary interpretation and on the use of narrative in history (e.g. Keith Jenkins, Hayden White, Roland Barthes, and Michel Foucault). The historical analysis includes research in primary sources from historical actors discussed in the dissertation. These include diaires, letters, and memoirs by Robert Graves, Vera Brittain, Seigfried Sassoon, and JRR Tolkien; letters and expedition journals of George Mallory; and JRR Tolkien's working notebooks regarding the development of his fictional works.
|Advisor:||Bickel, Beverly, Ritschel, Daniel|
|Commitee:||Casper, Scott, Cousin Gossett, Nicole, Froide, Amy|
|School:||University of Maryland, Baltimore County|
|Department:||Language Literacy and Culture|
|School Location:||United States -- Maryland|
|Source:||DAI-A 80/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||European history, History, Sociology|
|Keywords:||British upper class, Collective identity, Collective memory, Lost Generation, World War I|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be