A couple of decades after Margaret Thatcher managed to radically transform the rules of industrial relations in Britain, there has been a great deal of debate, comment and analysis by a wide range of commentators with various ideological persuasions. Thatcherism has, therefore, become an infamous concept in the study of modern British politics. This book re-examines one of the most controversial features of that era, the relationship between the media (in particular the press), the Prime Minister and the trades unions in the 1980s. The book is based on the assumption that Thatcher's policies were supported by the most partisan press industry to date. This assumption is empirically substantiated with the aid of a comprehensive research program. This research compares the editorials of the national press in the 1970s to provide a more in-depth understanding of the differential outlook of the press to the miners and their strikes.
Through an added qualitative scrutiny of the role of Murdoch's newspapers in three successive general elections involving Thatcher, the book argues that the relationship between Thatcher and Murdoch had a deep impact not only upon the press but on British society as a whole.
Table of Contents
1 THE THEORY OF CULTURE INDUSTRY Contemporary Relevance or a Theoretical Impasse? Introduction The genesis of the theory of culture industry Culture, technology and the rise of instrumental rationality Lukacs' theory of reification Authoritarianism and state capitalism Other influential ideas in the genesis of culture industry The definition of culture industry Mass culture and ideology The material basis of culture industry The characteristic features of the culture industry Standardization Pseudo-individuality Schematization Stereotypes The nature of domination in modern societies A critique of Adorno's theory of culture industry Is the thesis of culture industry still relevant? Agency and social actors: a definition and brief analysis Conclusion 2 THATCHERISM: FROM THEORY TO RESEARCH The Concepts - Indicators Model Introduction The meaning of Thatcherism The origins of Thatcherism: a historical perspective Phase one: Initial inception Phase two: The road to power Phase three: Thatcher in power Theorizing Thatcherism Economic oriented theories of Thatcherism Alan O'Shea's cultural theory of Thatcherism Raymond Williams' mobile privatization Hall's authoritarian populism Jessop's two nations Thatcherism as a multi-faceted populism Thatcherism and the media: the underlying traits Thatcherism and the national press Thatcher and media pressure Thatcherism and publicity strategy The Prime Minister's press secretary The indicators: methodological approach Conclusion 3 THE PRESS IN THE THATCHER YEARS: A model for British Culture Industry? Introduction The 'Murdoch' factor in the British Press industry: Macro Agency in the Internal Sphere Thatcher-Murdoch reciprocity: The path to the ownership of Times Newspapers Murdoch-Thatcher reciprocity: Content analysis of the Sun, the News of the World and The Times The sample The categories The 1979 General Election The 1983 General Election The 1987 General Election Murdoch's Proprietorial style Other press barons in the 1980s The pattern of press ownership in post-war Britain The function of capital: macro agency in the external and internal spheres The function of the mass market: collective agency in the external sphere Technological reformation in the British press industry: macro agency in the internal sphere The Wapping dispute: collective agency in the internal and external spheres The impact of Wapping Conclusion 4 THE MINERS' STRIKES AND THE PRESS INDUSTRY: A Comparative Study Introduction The methodological principle: overcoming problems of reliability The sampling procedure Procedure for assessing editorial 'attitude' Analysis of the empirical data: The quantitative dimension The degrees of 'editorial hostility' Analyses of the categories in each newspaper: the frequency of the selected concepts and phrases The qualitative dimension The miners and the press: from 'special cases to the Enemy within' The miners as 'special cases' The miners as 'the enemy within': 'The standardization process' Public opinion The miners' disputes, law and order, and the press industry: The standardization process The miners, the Labour movement and the press: The 'stereotype process' The miners' dispute, the press and the defeatist culture: The schematization process The Trade Unionists' opinion Conclusion Epilogue Appendix 1: Content analysis of the categories for the 1984-85 sample Appendix 2: Content analysis of the categories for the 1972-74 miners' strikes Bibliography