This article concentrates on Muriel Spark’s The Ballad of Peckham Rye (1960) and its indirect and mediated representation of the welfare state in the form of a ‘social-scientific imagination’, manifested in both cultural ideology and literary form. The ‘social-scientific imagination’ describes the textual engagement of Spark’s novel with the language and technique of newly professionalised social-scientific disciplines, in particular with new sociological studies of working life. In its representation of a shift in official modes of organising the social body, Spark's novel prefigures the ideological undermining of the welfare state through the invocation of individual responsibility and anti-bureaucratization.
|Journal||MFS: Modern Fiction Studies|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 17 Dec 2019|
- British fiction
- women's fiction
- social-scientific imagination
- welfare state