In recent years concerns have turned to issues of difference regarding social class, sexuality and racial identity, and the difficulties of writing from a marginal position. For working-class women, black or white, the obstacles to leaving any message, let alone a mark on British culture, are enormous.
The psychological barriers of underrating yourself, cultural snobbery, and concerns with language use are added further to the list of impediments suffered by working-class women writers. There are perceived ideas and conceptions about women's writing, even more so about working-class writing, and this affects how she is read and judged by the critics:
What chance is there that you will find anyone to whom you can show
your work in the expectation that it will be read, understood, supported,
answered, propagated and built into culture, without being in some measure
stolen from you and from the world that gave rise to it?
Therefore, even when against all the odds the working-class woman does get around to writing something, the chances are stereotypical notions will perceive her efforts as inferior, and her ideas will be appropriated and restructured into a more acceptable bourgeois form.
Working-class women not only suffer exclusion in writing but in publishing too. Publishing companies are out to make a profit, and writing which does not conform to the status quo of published material in style or content is in serious jeopardy. Women employed in publishing are overwhelmingly middle or upper class and are too often ancillaries of the same networks that gained their father's admittance to the club. It is unreasonable to expect these women to alter the nature of what is published radically, and this has significant consequences:
By working-class people being denied access to publishing, both as publishers
and as authors, we are denied access to the power to communicate our ideas widely.
This stops us from achieving sufficient access to cultural resources and developing
our belief in the possibility of us affecting positive change.
While these mechanisms operate in all areas of publishing, academic publishing is the ultimate gate-keeping activity where the prejudices and unconscious biases of the reviewer affect what is ultimately published. Therefore, any claim to academic objectivity or artistic judgement is a myth.
When all of this is considered, it is easy to see how working-class people have been excluded.