Crowhurst A, 1997, "Empire theatres and the empire: the popular geographical imagination in the age of empire" Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 15(2) 155 – 173
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Empire theatres and the empire: the popular geographical imagination in the age of empire
Received 21 February 1995; in revised form 20 September 1996
Abstract. The role of the emerging mass media in informing popular attitudestowards imperialism in late-Victorian and Edwardian Britain is exploredthrough a case study of music hall. It is argued that, in contrast topractices adopted in other media, music hall songs and sketches contributedlittle to the nurturing of an imperialist popular imagination. I takeissue with the assertion first made by J A Hobson in The Psychology of Jingoism that music halls promoted militaristand imperialist activities and fostered a popular chauvinism. I also suggestthat although music hall songs and sketches purveyed images of racialdifference they did not contribute to the discourse of racial supremacy upon which the moral justification of British imperialism rested.Rather, the halls celebrated the emergence of a culture of consumption that transcended social and ethnic boundaries and confronted the dominantascetic value system of the Victorian bourgeoisie.
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