This book examines youth cultural responses to the political, economic and socio-cultural changes that affected Britain in the aftermath of the Second World War. In particular, it considers the extent to which elements of youth culture and popular music served to contest the notion of ‘consensus’ that historians and social commentators have suggested served to frame British polity from the late 1940s into the 1970s. The collection argues that aspects of youth culture appear to have revealed notable fault-lines in and across British society and provided alternative perspectives and reactions to the presumptions of mainstream political and cultural opinion in the period. This, perhaps, was most acute in the period leading up to and after the seemingly pivotal moment of Margaret Thatcher’s election to prime minister in 1979.

This book was originally published as a special issue of Contemporary British History.

chapter 1|7 pages


Youth Culture, Popular Music and the End of ‘Consensus’ in Post-War Britain
ByJon Garland, Keith Gildart, Anna Gough-Yates, Paul Hodkinson, Bill Osgerby, Lucy Robinson, John Street, Pete Webb, Matthew Worley

chapter 4|22 pages

Shot By Both Sides: Punk, Politics and the End of ‘Consensus’

ByMatthew Worley

chapter 5|19 pages

Reggae, Rasta and the Role of the Deejay in the Black British Experience

ByWilliam ‘Lez’ Henry